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Sean McCaffrey Foundation to hold first official event with Monaghan United-Cavan Football Partnership next week

Wed, Feb 27 2019

Seán McCaffrey passed away in late 2017 and the foundation was set up his memory shortly afterwards. Credit: Jason O'Callaghan (ETPhotos)

It may be almost seven years since Monaghan United began their final fateful season at League of Ireland adult level but that certainly doesn’t mean that the Oriel county has been dormant.

Far from it. At underage level Monaghan United formed a partnership with a neighbouring county to form Monaghan United Cavan Football Partnership (MUCFP) in order to compete at national elite underage level.

The partnership has borne fruit so far with many players called up to national underage squads –most recently 2018 under-19s forward Callum Ross Lynch, who netted for Tom Mohan’s home-based squad in February.

A former underage coach with the partners is Paul Smyth. The Monaghan native previously carved out a very decent League of Ireland career for himself at Monaghan United and was, as with many throughout the region and throughout Ireland, influenced by the late Seán McCaffrey.

To celebrate the memory of the former Ireland underage supremo, Smyth was part of a committee which set up the Seán McCaffrey Foundation last year.

The Foundation, which was launched to great acclaim with a sold-out gala dinner and auction last summer, is holding its first official partnered event with MUCFP next Thursday (March 7th) at the Garage Theatre in Monaghan.

The night begins at 7.30pm and comprises presentations from Tom Mohan (Ireland under-19 manager), Mark Scanlon (FAI Schools and Universities national co-ordinator) and Pat McGibbon (former Manchester United youth player) as well as a question-and-answer session with current Dundalk goalkeeper Aaron McCarey.

International

Tom Mohan’s career was heavily influenced by Seán McCaffrey and the Fermanagh man has risen through the managerial ranks with the Republic of Ireland.

He is now in charge of the under-19s, who are currently in qualifying for the UEFA European Championships to be held in Armenia in July.

Tom will speak about what is involved when playing with the national squads and give the audience a flavour of life as an elite underage footballer.

Education

Mark Scanlon is the national co-ordinator for schools and universities, and he will discuss the importance of continuing with education while playing soccer.

The Trim native has a wealth of experience regarding the various educational opportunities available to young footballers in Ireland.

Mental Health

Pat McGibbon, originally from Lurgan, is a former Manchester United youth team player who has gone on to set up a youth academy in Northern Ireland.

There is a strong emphasis there on the mental health side of the game, as well as fundamental skills and technique.

Life as a Professional

Finally, Scotstown’s Aaron McCarey, currently at Dundalk, will take part in a question-and-answer session chaired by MUCFP player Seosaimh Sheerin.

The goalkeeper, who had represented the Republic of Ireland at various underage levels before his call-up to the senior national side last year, will discuss life as a young professional soccer player in Britain, having left Monaghan United for Wolves as a teenager and spending almost a decade in England and Scotland.

Speaking to extratime.ie, Smyth was positive about how the evening encompasses four different strands of life as a soccer player and should provide information for a wide range of audience members.

Members of MUCFP underage squads are expected to attend the evening, the second local event the foundation has organised recently.

In December, a forum brought together local clubs and their representatives to air their views on local soccer in the area and the outcomes provided a pathway for the foundation to plan for the year ahead.

Among the findings were the facts that the partnership promoted the development of relations between clubs as well as the importance of public relations.

Thursday night will be a perfect opportunity to provide information to young footballers in the region as well as continue to foster and develop links between stakeholders in Monaghan soccer.

It will be guaranteed to be an informative and enjoyable night for anyone with an interest in underage soccer and tickets, which are FREE, will sell out fast. Check out The Seán McCaffrey Foundation or eventbrite for tickets: