EirGrid is backing up its sponsorship of the GAA with the launch of a new award to recognise the Managerial Moments In Time that capture the public’s imagination and light up the All-Ireland Football and Hurling Championships.
At Croke Park yesterday they unveiled a panel of experts charged with identifying the top managerial moments throughout the Championships including former Dublin football manager Paul Caffrey and former Tipperary hurling and current Na Piarsaigh manager Michael Ryan.
The EirGrid Manager Moment In Time will be announced monthly with each manager being awarded a high-end sports watch. At the end of the season, one moment will be named the EirGrid Manager Moment In Time of the year, with the manager being awarded a top of the range LED digital clock and scoreboard to be installed at a club of their choice.
That’s a neat bringing together of Eirgrid’s ‘day job’ managing the flow of energy around the country and its position as official timing sponsor of the GAA as well as title partner on the U20 All Ireland Football Championships.
There will be monthly winners for July, August and September with the overall winner being selected from the three-monthly winners.
Paddy Power is unlikely to open a book on the winners but with Davy Fitzgerald on the sideline this weekend in the All Ireland Hurling Semi-Final he would be short odds to produce at least one or two moments.
“Our competitions are not just about those who get the cross the white line to dissect posts and make goal nets shake,” said GAA President John Horan at the launch.
“The games are also about those who train, prepare, plan and scheme to try and help players bring success to a given team or county.”
“To that end, the EirGrid Managerial Moments initiative is a tacit acknowledgement of the influence and input of our coaches, who do so much to influence events on the field from the start to the end of our championships.”
“Football and hurling managers play a huge role in the development and management of the talent and players who thrill and entertain with their skill, dedication and energy,” added Valerie Hedin from Eirgrid.
“Whilst the player’s skills and achievements are widely recognised, at EirGrid we wanted to use our partnership as timing partner to the GAA as a platform to recognise and celebrate the managerial tactics, calls and far-reaching influence that they have on the action that takes place on the pitch.”
“We are delighted to have two former inter-county managers of such high distinction as Paul and Michael to join our judging panel and look forward to enjoying and appreciating the Championship from a slightly different, but equally impressive, perspective.”
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Image Credit: Sam Barry, Sportsfile