After two years, I’m hanging up my clipboard and taking a break from Tullamore Phoenix.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks with work though which isn’t surprising given that’s the main reason I’m having to put away my coaching manuals for the foreseeable future.
The first person I want to thank is Alison Byrne, who not only managed to hide my bald spot in the picture above, but has also spent the last two years following Tullamore Phoenix around the country and capturing some awesome images. Alison will also be finishing up with Tullamore but if you’re looking for a photographer for any occasion, I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.
Indeed, better late than never, you can see a slideshow of our last game of the 2012 season here:
Next I’d like to thank all the opposing coaches and players I’ve come across. Almost without exception they’ve been nothing but forthcoming with encouragement and advice – especially this year as Phoenix adapted to life in the IAFL South. Special mention for Drogheda Lightning coach Russ Kerley who, despite being busy building a dynasty in the Wee County, still found time to offer his services as an assistant when I was coaching on my own for the first time.
Of course, there are too many players in Tullamore to thank individually but you’ve all been great. If it wasn’t for Brian Kirwan and Padraic Merlehan though, I’d have never started coaching so I have to single them out as well as Darren Byrne, who I saw more of than my wife at weekends, and Rory O’Keeffe for finding video evidence that every play I ever conceived had already been done by some high school that nobody, not even the students who went there, had ever heard of except Rory.
I hope to stay in touch with the rest of you too, as long as you promise to stop drinking so much!
Of course, I can’t write a post like this without saying thanks to my wife Amy too. She’s awesome which is probably why I married her.
Finally, a massive thank you to John Judge. John took a chance on handing over his offence to a rookie coach with nothing more than a head full of dreams and thousands of hours of Madden on his CV. Anyone interested in coaching American football in Ireland should get in touch with John about taking over from me in Tullamore as you’ll learn more from a ten minute conversation with Coach Judge than you will from a hundred coaching manuals.
So that’s enough waffling from me. I’ll hopefully I’ll see you at a game soon.