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GAA: Alfie finds a way to fulfil two roles

By John Campbell

Alfie Hannaway finds himself immersed in sport day and night.

During working hours, his brief is to conduct coaching sessions in schools in the Lisburn area in his role as a Youth Sports Development Officer.

And at night he finds himself engaged in demanding training sessions as St Galls prepare for their assault on the Ulster Club championship.

Hannaway, a tigerish defender, has been responsible for helping to build bridges in a sporting context in the Lisburn area.

In the New Year, he hopes to bring the fundamentals element of GAA to schools in the Ballymacash and Harmony Hill areas.

"I am delighted with the positive response there has been of late to sport in a cross-community context. We have been to schools like St Colm's, St Joseph's and St Aloysius's but obviously we will be breaking new ground in other schools," Alfie said.

The 25-year-old utility player is hoping that the schools' arena in which he works will throw up future stars - and not just in a GAA context either.

"There is cross-fertalisation in sporting terms at grassroots level which is maybe not always recognised but I see for myself how youngsters are coming together under sporting banners to hone their skills and show the way forward," Alfie continued.

He is hoping, meanwhile, that St Galls can repeat their Ulster Club final triumph of two years ago.

But after their provincial success, the team fell to Salthill/Knockacarra in the AIB All Ireland Club final when the then emerging C J McGourty came on as a second-half substitute.

" He has certainly come on a lot since then," Alfie added with a smile.

Belfast Telegraph


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