Manly United skipper Sam Gallagher may still be waiting for the recommencement of the NPL NSW Men’s season but the current youth coach at the club is eagerly anticipating the first weekend of July when competitive football returns to the fold.
The 29-year-old ambitious coach has been working overtime with fellow teammate Joe Fox (Head of SAP) and Technical Director Andrew Christiansen during the COVID-19 lockdown preparing to charge the club’s promising young prospects once more.
“I mostly work at Manly United in the Youth League age groups and even though lockdown stopped us from training and playing games as a club, myself, Joe Fox (Head of SAP) and Andrew Christiansen (Technical Director) spent a lot of time creating content for the players to be able to use from home.
“This included recording video sessions, session plans, fun challenges, Zoom calls, and keeping the kids as engaged as possible through the lockdown.”
Asked how he coped during the COVID-19 lockdown period, the former North Epping Rangers junior picked up a few handy hobbies with his main one being golf.
“It has been a strange and unique experience, but I’ve tried to make the best out of a bad situation during the COVID-19 break.
“I got into a routine of exercising every morning and finding ways to be productive with all the spare time I now had.
“Luckily I’m a keen golfer and golf was the only sport that basically stayed open the entire lockdown, so I’ve definitely taken advantage of that.
“I think my wife and I must have gone through the same stages as everyone else as whilst at home.
“Starting with jigsaw puzzles at the height of the lockdown, moving onto attempting to create a botanical garden on my tiny balcony in Dee Why and now I’ve even tried to start surfing, which isn’t going as well as I’d hoped. Might stick to watering basil.”
It was only natural that the former Australian U20s and U23s defender was elated with the news that restrictions for football were eased recently which helped him in one area with his youth teams but was still waiting for the green light on when the NPL NSW Men’s seniors would kick-off.
“It was great to hear that restrictions were once again being eased for football all around NSW and the country, but for me personally it means we can now run sessions with the whole team in the younger ages, whereas before we were restricted to 9 players and a coach, so the team was always split up.
“Our senior team is still yet to resume training but with the new easing of restrictions I hope will have a positive effect on the NPL NSW Men’s season resuming.
“I know the boys have been working hard and staying in touch throughout the lockdown period and up until this point.
“At the start of the lockdown, we all took some gear home with us which included, balls, cones, gym equipment, GPS units so as a group we’ve ticked over.
“We’re hoping now that the season will resume in some way, shape, or form.
“I know the Manly boys are keen to get back to playing.”
Gallagher was hit with a double whammy as stated earlier, not only did he miss playing the game, but he also missed coaching it as well when restrictions were at fever pitch.
“Even though I was still involved in the game through my coaching roles I wasn’t able to train with my team both coaching and playing.
“From a coaching perspective, I really missed taking sessions and from a playing perspective, I probably missed the social aspect the most.
“Training and playing games with friends and having that contact throughout the week was definitely something that I’ve missed.”