Interview with Goalkeeping Coach "Mark Cobey"

1. As a player, you played for Galway Utd, can you tell us what that was like?
- Ya sure, I loved my time with Galway United F.C. both playing and coaching. Don O'Riordan signed me, he was a brilliant manager and coach. I also had the honour of playing with some great players. I have the record for most clean sheets there in a season (2017 I think) and most consecutive clean sheets (5 on the trot). Got to the League Cup semi final and the FAI Senior Cup, beaten by Finn Harps in the FAI and Shamrock Rovers in the League Cup. We also got promoted that year to the Premier League. Also played with Sligo Rovers F.C. when Don signed me again.

2. What other Galway Clubs have you played for? What success did you have? Was there a season that enjoyed the most?
- Galway Hibernians FC, West Utd Fcd and Athenry FC, Galway United and Sligo Rovers. Was signing with Tranmere Rovers on a two year contract only then to rupture my cruciate ligament.
Hibs won the league in 2006 I signed from Galway United and I loved that year. Following season Athenry beat us in the Connacht Cup Final (2-1). Got to another Connacht Cup final with Athenry and lost on penos to Westport Utd. I would say every season I played I loved it and miss it badly now.
Won quite a lot with Hibs (Leagues and Connacht Cups). That was a very good side for about 10 years.

3. You have been a Goalkeeping Coach in Galway City and County, When did you start coaching?
I started coaching while stay playing with Galway United, Don again would bring us to schools around Galway. That's when I started. Have been with the FAI as well for 14 years coaching on the FAI ETP. I love coaching these days.

4. Can you name three of the best keepers you have had the pleasure in coaching?
- David Forde for a little while when he was young. Conor Winn, Ger Hanley, Ronan Forde, Conor Gleeson, Barry Ryan, Gary Rodgers ans Sam Ramsbottom all at Galway United and a lot more with FAI had the pleasure of coaching Caoimhen Kelleher as well, who is now at Liverpool. I have also worked with James Healy and TJ Forde. Top top lads and excellent keepers.

5. Coaching with Galway Utd, are you involved with all the keepers including the underage teams? Is there a keeper coming through that stands out from the others?
- Not with Galway United at the min but ya there is some top young keepers there Sam O'Gorman and Cian Mulryan are two very good keepers coming through. Had them two keepers both at Galway Utd and FAI ETP.

6. Would you agree that many clubs do not provide training for their keepers?
Should every club have a Goalkeeping Coach?
- I think so ya, I see Mark Lawless is now coaching the Athenry keepers and is doing his badges, fair play to him. Seen him coaching few times and comes across very well.

7. What is the best advise you give to young keepers on what they can do to improve at home?
- Loads of videos going around at the min to train in back garden and stuff like that. Always believe in yourself as a keeper and never stop working hard.

8. Lastly, based on the Galway Leagues in your opinion, can you name the following:
Best Keeper: Salthill keeper is very good TJ and James also. PJ Ward with hibs is going to be very good. Made his debut with hibs last year at 16 years of age he is one to watch out for.
Best Defender: Nathan Ward I think will be a fine player and already is there with the best of them in the league.
Best Midfielder: Stephen Walsh Hibs.
Best Striker: Cathal Fahy no need to say anymore.
Best Referee: Niall Crosby or PJ Norman

Thank you,
@athenry_afc /#athenry_afc