Darragh Crocker, Adare, in his official Football Association of Ireland coaching gear this week
A TEENAGER, not much older than the children he will be putting through their paces, has been accepted to coach in the FAI summer soccer camps in County Limerick this summer.
Normally players only think about coaching and managing when they are nearing the end of their career but Darragh Crocker, Adare, is only 16.
He has already qualified as Kick Start 1, 4 by 4 and 7 by 7 small sided games, strength and conditioning and Kick Start 2. Darragh is probably one of the youngest qualified FAI coaches in the country. The Man Utd fan can trace his interest back to watching a repeat of an Argentina match when Diego Maradona was running riot.
“He was a great player and then got into coaching. I like soccer, enjoy the sport and I want to have a career around sport. As soon as I finish secondary school and go into university I will be going straight into a sports course,” said Darragh, whose proud mum and dad are Therese and Philip.
He still has a way to go before college as Darragh is only going into fifth year in Colaiste na Trocaire, Rathkeale. He began earning his badges at FAI-run courses in Tralee in February.
“I did a series of workshops. I was the youngest there by far – they were all in their 30s and in 40s. I loved it. It was a brilliant experience,” said Darragh, who is looking forward to putting all he has learned into action at the soccer camps. He also has the experience of playing under a number of coaches at Old Mill in Newcastle West, Adare, Pike Rovers and now Mungret. Darragh plays up front with the U17s that won the cup and league this year.
“Our coach in Mungret, Mike Fahey, knows about the courses because I can’t make it to training when I have to go to Tralee. He has been telling me tips and tricks like don’t force your players into doing something, see what they are comfortable with and how they play in those positions,” said Darragh, who likes the 4-2-3-1 formation.
His favourite players are Paul Pogba and Ronaldo and when he is watching matches he isn’t just looking at those on the field, Darragh is observing tactics and the technical side of the game. At just 16 Darragh is certainly one to watch in the future.