HARD AT WORK Mayo coach Daniel Forde is pictured during the warm-up before a recent National League match. Pic: Conor McKeown
NEW Mayo senior football coach Daniel Forde has learned a lot during his first few months working alongside James Horan.
However, the Ballycastle native says that Horan’s ‘awareness of how to develop a team culture’ has been one of the biggest learnings that he has taken from the experience so far.
Forde is working as ‘a skills coach or field coach’ in the new Mayo set-up along with James Burke from Ardnaree and Martin Barrett from Kiltane.
“James’ attention to detail and his awareness of how to develop a team culture, I would say, is second to none. The team culture is very positive,” Forde told The Mayo News.
“The commitment is huge, so for the commitment to be high, I think players need to be want to be there and they need to enjoy being there. They need to enjoy coming to training, and they need to genuinely be thinking that there’s something we can get out of every session we go to.
“These lads have had loads of experiences with Mayo, both positive and negative, so in order to really get them to buy in, and drive on to the level that we want to get to, they need to enjoy their football.
“I think James has really instilled that culture into the group.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the players, there have been a few highs and lows lately, but the long-term vision that James has is very positive.”
Forde is best-known for his role as manager of the St Gerald’s College, Castlebar senior footballers, but has also worked with club teams in Breaffy and Claremorris, as well as Mayo under-age teams and the Mayo GAA coaching academy.
He says his new role with the county senior footballers is a varied one, but the focus has to be on enjoyment and improvement more than anything.
“How do we develop a player? How do we improve a player? How do we play to a set template? How do we transfer that information to players?
“I would consider my role to be a coach, skills coach, field coach, whatever you want to call it, and whatever James needs at a particular training session.
“If we’re not finishing every session, having smiled or laughed at one point, then I haven’t done my job. I haven’t got them really looking forward to the training session or the game that’s coming up,” he said.