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St Francis FC announce new coach

With the exciting announcement of a new coach in the air, The Liberty spoke to Chief Commercial Officer of St Francis FC David Bergin to discuss the club’s plans for the future.

Former Liberties side St Francis FC have announced Patrick O’Hanlon as their new strength and conditioning coach. 

The move comes as part of the club’s development plan, as St Francis aim to execute a return to the League of Ireland Second Division, following their rejected application to the league prior to this season.

The club have also added a new gym, where O’Hanlon will take his sessions once COVID restrictions are lifted.  

O’Hanlon previously worked with Bray Wanderers and LSL sides such as Bluebell United, and currently also works with South Dublin side Cherry Orchard and will take over fitness sessions for all age groups at the club. O’Hanlon also runs Academy One fitness, based in Citywest.

He also previously played in the League of Ireland with Monaghan United and Kilkenny City. 

The feedback has been phenomenal, some of the parents have even joined in

C.C.O David bergin on the reaction to the new coach’s zoom sessions

Patrick O’Hanlon is the new Strength and Conditioning coach at St Francis FC. Photo Courtesy of David Bergin. 

Chief Commercial Officer David Bergin told The Liberty that feedback for the coach has been “phenomenal”, as the coach is currently taking classes with youth teams over Zoom. The new coach will also look after player nutrition.  

“Starting at 6p.m until 9p.m, Monday to Thursday, every team in our club can get a session with the fitness coach… The feedback has been phenomenal, some of the parents have even joined in [from underage teams]! We’re delighted, the turnout has been much stronger [for training] for Zoom sessions. It’s something different.” 

Bergin also explained that as restrictions are eased, O’Hanlon will take the teams in outdoor lessons across their grounds, which has three pitches. He added that the club will “facilitate whatever the regulations are”. 

The appointment comes before a proposed return to training for youth teams on April 26, with the Irish government stating, “underage non-contact outdoor training and dancing in pods of 15 or fewer can restart.” 

The club have stressed that their return to training will be focused towards enjoyment for their players, as they described it as “their only release mechanism”.  

The Baldonnel side say they have no plans to immediately return their teams to competitive matches, saying their players “would need a proper pre-season and friendly games to get the players up to speed, its not going to be realistic to operate at an underage level.” 

Despite the return of youth football, U16 teams and above will still be unable to play. The club say they are worried about their players just above the threshold for a return to action.

 However, they have welcomed plans for an Under-21 League in the Leinster Senior League.  

“If that happens, we would applaud that, the League are thinking outside the box. It’s going to be difficult for clubs, we don’t know where we are going to be at. You don’t know how many players are going to be coming back. We’re taking it one step at a time and getting the kids back to training first.” 

This story was updated on April 20th.

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