Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Retired Healy backed to enjoy rewarding future as a coach

Guillem Balague was at Windsor Park in 2006 to witness Healy's memorable hat-trick against Spain

Guillem Balague has predicted that the recently-retired David Healy still has a bright future in the game having attended a UEFA B license course with Northern Ireland's record goal-scorer in Belfast last summer.

Healy officially hung up his boots at the beginning of this month following his release by Bury at the end of last season, but has already been involved with the Northern Ireland under-17 side in a coaching capacity.

It is an area where Balague thinks Healy can excel, stating: "We spent the summer together working on our badges and there is definitely a great coach inside him.

"He is quite shy, he would say so himself, but he has a great attitude and was always helping the coaches where he could.

"He was by far the best finisher in our group, although that wasn't too hard. He was fantastic."

Before getting to know the Killyleagh man, Balague was at Windsor Park in 2006 to witness Healy's memorable hat-trick against Spain and feels it was an important match in his homeland's progression to become World and European champions.

"Having met David now, I'm happy it was him that got the goals but at the time it was a game that did quite a lot of damage," he added,

"It was a turning point in some ways because it helped Spain realise little by little that they could not just arrive and beat teams.

"That wake-up call had to come before they would go on to have the success they have now."

Having worked with Gerry Armstrong at Sky Sports, Balague is also well-acquainted with another man who netted a winning goal for Northern Ireland against La Roja and the hero of Espana '82 is set to join him tomorrow night for the Belfast leg of his book tour in The Devenish.

On the former Real Mallorca and Tottenham man, Balague adds: "For me, he is one of the nicest guys in the game and always a pleasure to spend time with.

"His goal at the World Cup is certainly not as famous in Spain. It was seen as a failure, but unfortunately we had a bunch of them at that time in our history."

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