Usher To Rise Again..

Apr 30, 14 Usher To Rise Again..

I caught up with Anthony Carroll this week who is Club Development Director at Usher Celtic and we spoke about the re-building of Usher Celtic and his 5 year plan.

TCD: Tell me about the new stricture being put in place?

AC: This new structure will allow the club to a) grow and b) maintain the successful growth. The structure will be implemented by a project plan that is phased from year 1 to year 5.

By implementing this, everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet.

TCD: What’s the long term plan? 

AC: The long term plan is to create Dublin’s most successful Inner City Club with a target of 1000 players by year 5. One of the great failings of most (if not all clubs) is the lack of a visible and agreed framework and plan. The structure specifically addresses 6 key success areas:

  1. Club’s Mission/Goals & Philosophy – What are the core values of the club and reasons for it’s existence.
  2. Coach & Player Development Model – How are the club going to effectively develop the coaches and players.
  3. Staff – Leaders/Team members – Who are the the club’s key people and members to successfully implement and manage the plan.
  4. Facilities – What are the short and long term facilities required to effectively implement the above.
  5. Admin/Support & Marketing – What processes and systems will be in place to help the club promote and market’s, as well as support the team members and all the key functions..
  6. Club’s Finance & Funding – How much money is required to grow and maintain the success of the club.

I believe the above captures all the key criteria for managing and growing a successful grassroots/junior club. Furthermore, each factor flows onto the next.

TCD: Talk to me about how all this is going to work?

AC: One of the first things we have done is agree the core objectives of the club, along with the core values and philosophy we will use to reach these objectives. And the key to this is that EVERYONE agrees and buys into it, no matter who they are and this of course MUST include new recruits. If they dont, then they wont be involved. This is a fundamental flaw in grassroots football club and the whole community, whereby so many have different agendas and philosophies. By implementing this, everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet.

Then I have recommended we put in a leadership team – board of directors/owners/etc.. One important role I created was a Club Development Director, not just a Director of Football. I have not come across one club yet, who has recruited such a person. This person is crucial to the overall success of any club as he/she will help develop ALL aspects of the club – from teams/coaches/funding/marketing and more…

I made sure to properly set up the club as a non-profit social enterprise, as this has much greater benefits long term, especially when it comes to accessing support and local funding. Not to mention, it adds credibility as the revenue and profits are pumped back into the club to continue to meet it’s core objectives.

 TCD: What will Usher coaching philosophy be? 

AC: Regarding the Coaching and Development Model – I have proposed to create 3 key sections in the club to help implement an effective coaching and development model.

  1. Recreational Section
  2. Development Section
  3. Elite

The main reason for the above is to make sure every player enjoys his/her football at the appropriate level for their abilities and skills. Our aim is to NEVER refuse a player.

Recreational will be for players who simply want to just play and who have little or no interest in becoming elite footballers. These players and teams will play locally within Dublin City without any attachment to a league per say.

Development players will play within development teams whereby they show a good level of interest and ability, they will be associated to league

Elite players will play at a level whereby they will receive the best coaching etc to give them the best opportunity to create a professional career in football. These will be associated to league but also receive ‘extra’ coaching hours per week.

That is all for the time being, but at least this gives a good snapshot of what has been implemented. i’ll finish by saying Usher Celtic is focussed on promoting a healthy lifestyle and life skills through football.

Usher Celtic History

Formed in 1943 to date

  • First successes occurred in 1960’s when senior teams won junior division titles (lower league)
  • Mick Hayes joined club during this time and was instrumental in its successes between1964 and 1990.
  • First schoolboy team registered in late 60’s with DDSL
  • Club shared ColdCut grounds up to 1980’s when it then moved to Islandbridge.
  • Most successful era was the 1980’s – 1st Team won successful league titles gaining promotion in each. From 1983-86 right up to Premier Division.
  • Biggest achievement was winning 1988 FAI Junior Cup. Was semi finalist in 1986 and Finalist in 1987.
  • Won Junior Shield in 1984.
  • Club had numerous schoolboy successes with league winners in DDSL from u8-12’s between 2000 and present.
  • Currently have 4 schoolboys teams but plans are afoot to add further 2 teams next season. Additional plans are being put in place to have one team in each age group within 3 years.

Current Board of Directors

Tony O’Rourke (Club Secretary & Chairman)

Tony Buckley (Honorary President)

Paul Conroy (Treasurer & Senior Football Secretary)

Anthony Carroll (Director of Football & Club Development Officer)

Dermot Dalton (Coach Education & Small Sided Games Director)


  • We have 10 coaches actively involved in the club at present.

Future Position

  • We will be recruiting a Coach Coordinator, Marketing Assistant and Administrators


TCD would like to thanks Anthony and we wish Usher Celtic the very best for what looks like an exciting future for the club.

I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. Thanks for reading. I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

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