It’s fair to say that’s it’s been a busy couple of weeks for DCU GAA director Michael Kennedy. Aside from his role here within the college, the Tyrone native was video analyst for the Irish International rules team in the recent test series down under.
“As video analyst, I was responsible for looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. It was vitally important that we looked very closely at the performances of the panel of players picked both in game situations with their respective Counties/AFL teams and at their performances at training.
“All of our pre-trip training sessions were held in the DCU Sports grounds (apart from two at Carton house) where all sessions were videoed – this gave us the opportunity to look closely at how our players were performing and adapting to the rules of the game.
“I would have to say that the contribution from our own DCU students Michael Murphy and Colm Begley were outstanding. Personally, it was hectic during game time for me. I was constantly analysing the game from my position on pitch side and then communicating and liaising with the manager and the coaches by radio link from their vantage position in the stands. It was a fantastic experience for me personally, and an immensely proud moment to be involved with our national squad.
“The day to day role of running the Academy can involve many different aspects of work – training, medical, recruitment, finance, accommodation and academic issues. I work very closely with Enda Fitzpatrick (Athletics Director) and other key student providers on campus like Yvonne Mc Gowan, Dr. Claire Bohan, Deirdre Moloney and Anne O Connor. I try to ensure that all players are exposed to the very best practices – functional and medical screening, nutrition, hydration, strength and conditioning.”
“I continue to seek out best practice and try to ensure that we work closely with the HE, Croke Park and the Dublin County board having recently sought out their opinions on a development plan for DCU Hurling from Dublin Co Board. It can be a long day at times often taking in possibly up to 2-3 games in any one-day.”
Talking about his vision for DCU Kennedy said, “I would like to have total integration and a united approach and that the DCU GAA club covering Camogie, Hurling, Hand ball, Ladies football and Men’s football, should be all singing of the one hymn sheet and our family of clubs should all feel that they have the proper support and the necessary structures in place to develop.”
To this regard, Kennedy is keen to develop all the different sports under the GAA umbrella. “I try to ensure that I meet regularly with the management and their officials at the start of the year and where possible throughout the playing season. I believe that structuring management teams from within the university can be hugely advantageous going forward. We have hugely enthusiastic coaches currently involved.”
Kennedy also stressed that without the co-operation of DCU Sport, it would be virtually impossible to provide for every GAA player. “We have a terrific working relationship with DCU sports centre. They provide us with state of the art facilities, one of the very best in the country. I worked very closely with them (DCU Sport) before I ever got here and that relationship has continued to grow under Ken Robinson and his staff.
“We benefit from the service provided by their staff including Yvonne Hennessey (facilities) Martina Mc Carthy (high performance manager) who in conjunction with Des Earls and Stephen Bennett provide strength and condition and testing to all of our teams at the very highest level.”
“The expertise of People like Professor Niall Moyna, Ken Robinson, Martina McCarthy, Siobhan O’Connor and Carina Tobin are invaluable to DCU GAA as is the medical support structures provided by Exwell medical lead by Dr Noel Mc Caffrey, Miriam Downey, Enda White, Declan Monaghan and John Prenty.”