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?
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?
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)
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?
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?
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.