Derryleigh One-on-One with Andy Gleeson

JD
In the 5th of our series of Derryleigh One-on-Ones, it’s time to meet up with self-confessed Man Utd fanatic, schoolboy manager, new committee member and your local friendly postman Andy Gleeson. He might always ring twice but he always gets the job done. Thanks Andy for being a good sport and taking part.

Q. How long have you been associated with Newport Town AFC?
On & off since 2008.

Q. What’s your current involvement with the Club?
Underage manager & committee member.

Q. What type of player were you as a schoolboy?
I was a defender & when I was younger I tried to play rough & tough but the older I got I calmed a bit and tried to read the game a bit more…always loved training because I loved to learn.

Q. What are your hopes for next season in NTAFC?
I hope to help more in the club being a committee member & I would love to bring home some silverware with the U14s next season.

Q. What professional soccer team do you support and why?
Manchester United because they have been in our family since my grandad & he was a season ticket holder…so I didn’t support them just because they won everything.

Q. Who are your favourite professional players (both past & present)?
Mark Hughes because he was the type of player I loved to be like as a kid, but he is a gentleman off the pitch & yes, I had the pleasure of meeting him on a number of occasions.

And these days I love to watch Ronaldo, yes, he is brilliant & has won almost everything there is to be won but I loved watching his career & how he always pushed himself to be the best.

Q. In your opinion, what qualities make a player a good team captain?
Good communication & lead by example.

Q. What takes up your time when you’re not at the Club?
My kids these days. They play football for the club, but they also take part in taekwondo, swimming & the scouts so I’m kept busy.

Q. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
Homer Simpson… DOH!!!

Q. What is your favourite film?
I’m a big science fiction freak so I’ve loads of favourites, but I always love to watch the trilogy of Star Wars.

Q. Who is your favourite band / singer?
Oasis & yes, I wish they would get back together

Q. Do you have a special routine or superstition in general or before a game?
Yes, I always used to lay out my gear the night before a game & always had my boots tied up as tight as possible. I felt it used give me better control of a football.

Q. Who is your favourite non-sports icon?
Nelson Mandela… he believed in equality for all & my god did he fight for it… an amazing human being.

Q. If you could play at any sporting stadium in the world, which one would it be?
Old Trafford because when that place is in full volume it is the best… but hasn’t been so in the last few years unfortunately

Q. Messi or Ronaldo?
Ronaldo

Q. What other sport(s) do you love to play, and how would you rate your skills?
I still try to play 5-a-side, golf & racquetball as much as I can & how I rate myself? In the same order loud & slow, not so good & sweat a lot 😂

Q. Best thing about living in Newport?
It’s close to Limerick 😂… no seriously since I moved here in 2007 my family and I have made a great life for ourselves & we’ve made some great friends here too. It’s a very friendly & happy town.

Q. What one word would others use to describe you?
Fiery

Q. who (in your opinion) was the best player you ever played with or coached?
Played with a lot of good players in my days of playing but since I’ve gone into coaching there’s one lad I really enjoyed coaching & that was Alex O’Toole not only did he have a lot of skill and knew how to play the game but every training session & every game he would take note of what he could’ve done better and always wanted to learn. He now plays with the 14s A team & will be a great asset to our club in years to come.

Q. What is your favourite memory to date of being involved with Newport Town AFC?
I suppose it has to when I came back to play with the Newport C team a few seasons back. It was an experimental team of youth and experience & the team that was put together was a great bunch of lads that just wanted to do their best & we were so unlucky not to get rewarded at the end of it.

Q. If you could change or bring in one rule in soccer, what would it be?
Bring back the back-pass rule for them poor Liverpool fans. Since they got rid of it almost 30 years ago their team has suffered. 😂

Q. What’s the funniest or strangest thing you ever saw happen during a match?
It must be while I was playing in a local derby schoolboy game in Cals pitch for my home club of Weston villa against Hyde Rangers, we were waiting on the referee who was local man Tommy Power RIP to show up. He was almost a half hour late & both managers were about to send us home when we saw this figure appear cycling a high-nelly bicycle across the pitch. The poor man was exhausted and looked like he had just done the Tour de France but fair play to him he carried on as normal… very funny experience 😂👍🏻

Q. Who has had the biggest impact on your soccer career to date?
My Dad…he always encouraged me to do my best in everything I did.

Q. If you had one wish, what would you look to change/implement in NTAFC?
Well since joining the committee I’ve brought the issue of changing the entrance gate at the Astro pitch to the opposite side. I think it would make the clubhouse & both pitches more accessible to everyone when they’re training on the Astro. But I really like the direction the club is going & it’s great to be involved in it.

Q. What advice do you have for the younger NTAFC players?
To keep training & push yourself to do the best you can but always enjoy what you’re doing no matter how good or bad things are.

Derryleigh One-on-One with Terri Butler

Terri Butler
In the fourth of our Derryleigh One-on-Ones, we get up close & personal with U17 girls’ coach & passionate Spurs fan, Terri Butler. Thanks to Terri for taking the time to take part and giving some great answers.

Q. How long have you been associated with Newport Town AFC?
Two years and loving it!

Q. What’s your current involvement with the Club?
U17 Girls Coach.

Q. What type of player were you as a schoolgirl?
There were no girls’ teams when I was younger, which meant it was with the boys or not at all! So, I played where i was told and asked no questions!! Usually ended up a defender, or anywhere on pitch except goalie (I’m sure the girls will verify I’m no Ter Stegen!)

Q. What are your hopes for next season in NTAFC?
To keep all the group playing together and look to improve our 4th place league finish and cup final defeat. The girls most definitely have it in them.

Q. What professional soccer team do you support and why?
Tottenham Hotspur, since I was 6 years old. 1981 was a good year as a Spurs fan but there’s not been too many since! Our time is coming, or at least I live in hope!

Q. Who are your favourite professional players (both past & present)?
Past – Picking only one was too tough, I’ve too many favourites for different reasons. Hoddle, Figo, Beckham, Ginola, Ronaldo, Zidane, Totti.

Present – Christian Eriksen & Antoine Griezmann

Q. In your opinion, what qualities make a player a good team captain?
A good organiser who stays calm and level headed that communicates well with their team.

Q. What takes up your time when you’re not at the Club?
Soccer, more soccer, my 3 kids. Being Registrar and Chairman of the NTSFL fills up any other time when I’m not coaching or going to watch Spurs.

Q. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
Moe from the Simpsons

Q. What is your favourite film?
Notting Hill

Q. Who is your favourite band / singer?
Coldplay, The 1975, Artic Monkeys and David Bowie. Love Motown & 80’s pop with a bit of Post Malone and Drake thrown in!

Q. Do you have a special routine or superstition in general or before a game?
I’m very superstitious so follow the same routine before matches and I have my lucky socks. The girls check
I’ve the right socks on before we play!

Q. Who is your favourite non-sports icon?
Sir David Attenborough

Q. If you could play at any sporting stadium in the world, which one would it be?
White Hart Lane – my favourite place in the world.

Q. Messi or Ronaldo?
Ronaldo

Q. What other sport(s) do you love to play, and how would you rate your skills?
Golf… probably more crazy than the sensible sort but I’d get by in a round, and I used to be a Baton Twirler (cue the laughter! ). Yes honestly! I was a national champion back in the day but gave it up for soccer.

Q. Best thing about Newport?
Newport is an awesome place. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, and the community spirit and camaraderie is unbelievable.

Q. What one word would others use to describe you?
I’m not sure there’s one that’s printable!

Q. Who (in your opinion) was the best player you ever played with or coached?
The small group of girls that started with me from the very beginning, who had never played soccer in their life but gave their everything to improve and learn. Those girls are still with me now and how they’ve stuck at it is truly inspiring.

Q. What is your favourite memory to date of being involved with Newport Town AFC?
Reaching the cup final this season after a string of great performances, where the girls finally found their confidence and played like I knew they could. We’ve had a few very memorable victories this season too that I’m sure the girls will never forget.

Q. If you could change or bring in one rule in soccer, what would it be?
To see female coaches in the top leagues…there are some very knowledgeable women out there i tell ya!

Q. What’s the funniest or strangest thing you ever saw happen during a match?
Robert Pires and Thierry Henry’s epic fail taking a penalty. Is always good to see an Arsenal blooper!

Q. Who has had the biggest impact on your soccer career to date?
My dad (and maybe Glenn Hoddle!) My dad is the whole reason I’m soccer mad. From watching him play every week when I was a toddler, to following him to every match when he was a coach. he started the obsession that’s only got worse as Ive got older!

Q. If you had one wish, what would you look to change/implement in NTAFC?
Maybe the introduction of half time entertainment in Derryleigh Park to go with the Dugout crew. I’m thinking Rob Kelly and his bagpipes as I’m sure everyone would love it!

Q. What advice do you have for the younger NTAFC players?
To never give up, always believe you’re good enough despite any knock backs along the way, and there’s no such thing as too much practice. Always play for the name on the front of the jersey not the name on the back.

Derryleigh One-on-One with Rob Kelly

Rob Kelly 4
In the third of our Derryleigh One-on-Ones, we get to see what makes the current U14 Girls’ coach, Rob Kelly, tick. As well as coaching the girls, he’s also been known to provide some delicious home-baked goodies for the Derryleigh Dugout. His players are still undecided on whether he’s a better coach or baker. Big thanks to Rob for being a good sport and agreeing to take the time to answer the questions.

Q. How long have you been associated with Newport Town AFC?
2006. Signed for the junior team and ended up with cracked ribs in my 1st season

Q. What’s your current involvement with the Club?
Coaching the U14’s girls team and as much as they do my head in, they are a fantastic bunch of girls

Q. What type of player were you as a schoolboy?
Didn’t play schoolboys soccer as I was playing the bagpipes in the school pipe band but I would have been great

Q. What are your hopes for next season in NTAFC?
Unbelievable on how big the club has grown and continues to grow, so it would be fantastic if we found a sponsor to build an all-weather pitch. So, if anyone knows a millionaire…

Q. What professional soccer team do you support?
Man Utd

Q. Who are your favourite professional players (both past & present)?
Roy Keane – his determination to succeed
David De Gea – best shot stopper around

Q. In your opinion, what qualities make a player a good team captain?
Lead by example – match or training.
Supporting your team mates

Q. What takes up your time when you’re not at the Club?
Work – SuperValu
Taxi driver – for my daughters
Chores – Daily list from the wife

Q. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
Eddie O’Gorman

Q. What is your favourite film?
We’re the Miller’s (so funny, especially when the lad gets bitten by the spider)

Q. What is your favourite band / singer?
U2 (80’s & 90’s stuff)
Andrea Bocelli

Q. Do you have a special routine or superstition in general or before a game?
Too nervous before games to get superstitious

Q. Who is your favourite non-sports icon?
More of organisations really.
Barrettstown & Laura Lynn hospice.

Q. If you could play at any sporting stadium in the world, which one would it be?
Has to be Old Trafford

Q. Messi or Ronaldo?
Ronaldo

Q. What other sport(s) do you love to play, and how would you rate your skills?
Pitch n Putt, as for skill rating, I would be more pitch, pitch, pitch, pitch then putt putt…

Q. Best thing about living in Newport?
Love the friendly feel about the town

Q. What one word would others use to describe you?
Ooooooooohhhhh………. Youthfulness

Q. who (in your opinion) was the best player you ever played with?
Eugene (Dougie) Peters. He played in that magnificent Star Rovers team that won 3 Munster Junior Cups in the 80’s. His skill levels were and still are sublime.

Q. What is your favourite memory to date of being involved with Newport Town AFC?
Coaching the girls to league glory would be an obvious choice but it’s really watching the girls improve their soccer skills whilst enjoying the game that stands out for me.

Q. If you could change or bring in one rule in soccer, what would it be?
That NO UNDERAGE TEAM should be beaten by more than 3 goals. If the opposition are that strong, the weaker team should be allowed to bring on all their subs or stronger team must take off some of their players.

Q. What’s the funniest or strangest thing you ever saw happen during a match?
Steven Gerrard’s slip against Chelsea that cost Liverpool the title, it was the funniest thing EVER!

Q. Who has had the biggest impact on your soccer career to date?
My youngest daughter, Sarah. From joining the club so she could march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade to making the North Tipp Academy squad.

Q. If you had one wish, what would you look to change/implement in NTAFC?
If you don’t train, you don’t play!

Q. What advice do you have for the younger NTAFC players?
Enjoy yourselves when playing and always try something new, whether it’s a new skill, a reverse pass or a through ball because if you don’t try, you’ll never learn.

Derryleigh One-on-One with Brian ‘Clemy’ O’Sullivan

Clemy
The second NTAFC figure to take part in the Derryleigh One-on-One is current Junior A team player, Brian O’Sullivan. This is your chance to get a bit more insight into the man known by everyone as ‘Clemy’.

Q. How long have you been associated with Newport Town AFC?
22 years, since I was a schoolboy player.

Q. What position do you currently occupy at the Club?
Junior A team Striker.

Q. What type of player were you as a schoolboy?
Midfield Maestro.

Q. What are your hopes for next season in NTAFC?
Junior A side to gain promotion to Div 1A.

Q. What professional soccer team do you support?
Man Utd.

Q. Who are your favourite professional players (both past & present)?
Past – Roy Keane; Present – Cristiano Ronaldo.

Q. In your opinion, what qualities make a player a good team captain?
Has to be a leader, doesn’t have to scream his head off during games but lets his feet do the talking.

Q. What takes up your time when you’re not at the Club?
My girlfriend Katelynn and work I suppose.

Q. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
Ned Flanders from The Simpsons.

Q. What is your favourite film?
Shawshank Redemption.

Q. What is your favourite band / singer?
Prodigy & Bob Marley.

Q. Do you have a special routine or superstition in general or before a game?
Have to have a good breakfast and a proper warm-up / stretch.

Q. Who is your favourite non-soccer sports icon?
Nelson Mandela

Q. If you could play at any sporting stadium in the world, which one would it be?
The Nou Camp in Barcelona.

Q. Messi or Ronaldo?
Ronaldo

Q. What other sport(s) do you love to play, and how would you rate your skills?
Hurling, on a good day 5/10. Football – a scoring machine.

Q. Best thing about living in Newport?
Being close to Limerick for games, a close-knit community and a good sporting town.

Q. What one word would others use to describe you?
Classy.

Q. Who (in your opinion) was the best player you ever played with?
My brother, Pete, for how easily he controls games.

Q. What is your favourite memory to date of being involved with Newport Town AFC?
Winning the Div 1A O’Halloran Cup in 2014 and the days out that followed.

Q. If you could change or bring in one rule in soccer, what would it be?
Definitely make the goals bigger.

Q. What’s the funniest or strangest thing you ever saw happen during a match?
There’s been lots! Ailbe Coffey nearly scoring a cracker against Knockainey and then taking half an hour to track back.

Q. Who has had the biggest impact on your soccer career?
My Dad, Denis, from under 8s to junior soccer he’s been at nearly every game.

Q. If you had one wish, what would you look to change/implement in NTAFC?
I’d prefer better training and players attitude towards training.

Q. What advice do you have for the younger NTAFC members?
Always train as hard as you’d play in a match otherwise there’s no point turning up.

Great stuff Clemy and thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Watch out for our next One-on-One in the coming weeks?

The Derryleigh One-on-One. Getting to know Ailbe Coffey

Ailbe Coffey
This new feature on our Club website & social media gives our members an opportunity to get to know some of the people in and around our Club. You might know their face but the aim is to get people more familiar with each other at the Club and to see what makes people tick and why they’re involved. As you’ll see, the questions are fairly light-hearted and fun and thanks to everyone who agrees to be interviewed. First up under the spotlight is Ailbe Coffey, who was recently granted the honour of being Grand Marshal in the Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This was in recognition of Ailbe being honoured by the Limerick District Schoolboy/Schoolgirl League in October 2017 when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to underage soccer in the region at the LDSL Annual Awards ceremony.

Q. How long have you been associated with Newport Town AFC?
Since I was a schoolboy player … 1986.

Q. What position do you currently occupy at the Club?
Club Hon. Secretary, Junior A and Youths manager.

Q. What type of player were you as a schoolboy?
I’m laughing here… I’d limited ability, but always wanted to be the best I could be.

Q. What are your hopes for next season in NTAFC?
Continuing to stay humble while developing our potential as a community resource.

Q. What professional soccer team do you support?
Liverpool FC – Red for Life

Q. Who are your favourite professional players (both past & present)?
Past – Ian Rush, Liverpool. ; Present – Messi, Barcelona. A privilege to have seen them play.

Q. In your opinion, what qualities make a player a good team captain?
Great Question. You can have many captains on the field, not just the one with the armband. The more you have, the greater the certainty of success. Great captains need to encourage, support, and enable all squad members to be at their best, with common goals and not settle for average. Staying positive, teach others to lead for themselves and never give up.

Q. What takes up your time when you’re not at the Club?
My work with youth brings me to many different communities far and wide, where I meet many great people. For relaxation, I like to watch TV documentaries, cinema, reading, enjoy nature walking, dogs but mainly I love going to sports games, e.g. Limerick FC, Tipperary matches, Ireland games especially away days.

Q. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
Looney Tunes, Foghorn Leghorn. ‘Fortunately, I keep my feathers numbered for just such an occasion.’

Q. What is your favourite film?
Dead Poets Society – especially Walt Whitman’s poetry. ‘Resist Much, Obey Little.’

Q. What is your favourite band / singer?
Rat Pack / Dean Martin.

Q. Do you have a special routine or superstition in general or before a game?
Most sports people do. I love a cuppa tea before games.

Q. Who is your favourite non-soccer sports icon?
Nelson Mandela & Mother Theresa

Q. If you could play at any sporting stadium in the world, which one would it be?
That’s easy… Croke Park for Tipperary

Q. Messi or Ronaldo?
Messi

Q. What other sport(s) do you love to play, and how would you rate your skills?
Pool. Average skills, but I can be very good on my day.

Q. Best thing about living in Newport?
It’s where I am from, it’s in Tipperary and there’s been some great characters here over the years and I’m glad to see, a few new ones coming on stream.

Q. What one word would others use to describe you?
I would hope they’d say, ‘Unassuming’

Q. Who (in your opinion) was the best player you ever played with?
Nicky English Jnr. He simply had everything. Head and Shoulders above everyone on any field.

Q. What is your favourite memory to date of being involved with Newport Town AFC?
There’s a joint two; You had to be there for this first one. ‘An end of season away match 3-2 win versus Shannon Hibs. An exhibition in overcoming the odds – Band of Brothers style’. Secondly, our O’Halloran Cup win a few years back – it was a great week.’ Both are very special memories.

Q. Who has had the biggest impact on your soccer career?
Mattie Lenihan and Joe Ryan. Brought me everywhere playing ball as a kid and helped me fall in love with the beautiful game.

Q. If you had one wish, what would you look to change/implement in NTAFC?
To coin a phrase, there’s a lot done, and more to do. However, it will always have the community and the children at the centre of our efforts.

Q. What advice do you have for the younger NTAFC members?
Enjoy sport, do your best and above all else, have fun with friends making memories. You’ll have them for life.

Thanks Ailbe for taking the time to answer the questions and to start the ball rolling on this feature. Next up for the One-on-One will be……….??