Galway students hone football skills in visit of two halves

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A group of Sports students from Ireland have honed their football skills and knowledge in a two-week-long visit to New College Lanarkshire.

Twelve students from Galway Technical Institute (GTI) divided their time between undergoing intensive training sessions at our Broadwood Campus in Cumbernauld with watching behind-the-scenes coaching at top-flight clubs.

The visit is part of the Erasmus+ exchange initiative to encourage the acquisition of both academic and intercultural skills through a structured educational programme abroad.

The packed itinerary included a visit to Rangers FC’s Auchenhowie training ground where they watched the club’s under-17s side train; a visit to watch Partick Thistle train at the University of Glasgow; a tour of Clyde FC’s facilities at Broadwood Stadium; and observing coaching sessions in the football academy at Braidhurst High School in Motherwell.

The group spent a morning at Celtic FC’s Barrowfield training ground where they watched the under-18s train, followed by a tour of Celtic Park and a presentation from Chris McCart, Head of Youth Development.

They also travelled to Stirling University to watch an under-19s match between Rangers and Spartak Moscow.

The Irish students have participated in daily training sessions at Broadwood Campus led by Curriculum & Quality Leader Todd Lumsden. Sessions included flexibility workshops using yoga sequences and an endurance training technique inspired by Sir Mo Farah.

Johnny Glynn, who is the group’s class teacher and is a UEFA Pro Licence coach in Ireland, said: “We have been coming to New College Lanarkshire for the past eight years and it is a great opportunity for our students to experience Scottish culture and benefit from the excellent coaching team at the College.”

Former Celtic and Chelsea player David Hay, who is overseeing the visit in his role in Business Development for New College Lanarkshire, said: “This is a new experience for the students from GTI.

“First of all, training with Todd and his team at Broadwood Campus gives them an insight into another form of football coaching, and then going to see how the professional teams train is an experience that they don’t get in Ireland.

“We appreciate greatly that the football clubs are able to host these visits as it is a very worthwhile experience for the visiting students.

“And our students made them all very welcome, with some of our students looking forward to going on a two-week Erasmus+ programme to Murcia in Spain later in the academic year.”

GTI student Gary Martyn added: “I feel that I have benefited greatly from this experience and also feel I can apply many of the training methods that I have learned, both in the gym and on the pitch, along with all of the communication and teamwork skills that I’ve developed.”

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