Larkview FC Whelan Park Lower Kimmage Road Dublin 6W
DDSL Secretary Mark Caslin 086 6074803
Below is a recent interview with Dermot Dalton, our new Director of Football.
Dermot, Welcome to Larkview and thanks for taking time out to speak with us and let the people of Larkview get an insight in to our new Director of Football.
Tell us a little History about your history in the game where you have coached /managed previous and a little bit about exactly what ‘’The Beautiful Game + Funino are about?
In my thirties I founded and managed a men’s team in the United Churches League. I wouldn’t say I had a great playing career but played mainly as a center half, even though I am only 5’7”.
I trained my son’s team from under 8 to under 16, he was at two different clubs, Portmarnock AFC and Malahide United.
I became more heavily involved in coaching in 2011 when I met Horst Wein and agreed to work with him to promote his age-appropriate youth development model, “Futbol a la medida del Nino, which has been the official textbook for youth coaches in Spain since 1993. We launched “The Beautiful Game” together and started updating the model straight away. The following year we launched FUNino FOR 7-9 year olds, a brilliant 3v3 game with two goals at each end out wide rather than the single central goal. FUNino is growing rapidly around the world, having reached many parts of Europe, South America and now China.
Over the last five years, we updated the whole development model and also his game intelligence approach for 11 a side football.
As many people will know, sadly Horst passed away this February. But I hope to continue to carry the torch of his great legacy into the future.
You worked very closely with the legendary Horst Wein how did you manage to come across and get to work so closely with such a well-regarded coach of the game, what was he like as a person and have you any good stories form you time working alongside him?
I had done a lot of research looking for the best youth development model available and found all roads led to Horst, especially his book “Developing Youth Football Players,” and made contact with him by email, then, in June 2011 I met him face to face and we got and very well, sharing the same passion to see children develop to their full potential in the game of football. The Beautiful Game is meant to reflect not only an attractive, possession based, attacking style of football, but also a philosophy, where we try to look after all young players in the game, and help them reach their full potential.
Horst was not a very typical German, having lived in Italy and Spain for most of his adult life and travelled extensively, being fluid in 5 different languages. He originally came from a hockey background, but converted to football after a meeting with FC Barcelona in the mid-eighties. He was passionate about helping children to enjoy the game of football and he designed the first age-appropriate football development model. His methodology included the “Game Intelligence Approach” and using games to train players rather than drills and physical exercises and running, as he would say “The Game is the Teacher!” Another important aspect of his methodology is Guided Discovery, where players learn to solve problems and make decisions themselves on the pitch. These three aspects are very complimentary.
Director of Coaching Dermot Dalton 086 8513339
Horst had an almost childlike, intuitive approach to games, which all began when his 6 year old son challenged him to design more interesting games to learn hockey. This same boy went on to win the world championship in hockey with Germany and 3 European titles!
Even his best work FUNino came about intuitively, when he was coaching hockey in a hall and noticed the varnish was worn out in the center of the floor and not at the sides, he decided to put goals (originally mattresses that were lying about) out wide at each end to encourage the players to spread out and play with width.
We worked earnestly together to bring FUNino to the world stage and now it is beginning to take off.
Also Horst influenced many coaches in soccer and other sports with his concept of “Game Intelligence.
Why Larkview as the next step in your career?
How did you hear about Larkview interested in you becoming DOF and what was your first impression of the club?
I have been working with a team in Terenure, then Terenure Rangers, now Larkview, who will be playing u13 next season. I came to know Larkview through training at the wonderful facility and in subsequent meetings. Hopefully we can build a strong, child-friendly schoolboy section with attractive football and a welcoming community ethos.
What did you know about the club before becoming involved?
I only came to know the club after starting training there last season, but have enjoyed getting to know the senior management and sharing in their vision for the future.
Unbelievable facilities here at Whelan Park what are your plans for the next few years + what will you bring to table and where would you like to see the club on the pitch?
Our style of football is based on Game Intelligence and attractive, cultured football (as Horst would describe it). Horst had a big influence on Spanish football, so if we could emulate some of their play and success at Larkview, that would be a fitting legacy to the man. Training is done through games, which are more fun for the kids and help to transfer skills and tactics to the games they play at the weekend.
What will a typical week as DOF in Larkview entail for you?
Hopefully it will involve working closely with coaches to equip them to deliver the unique child-friendly development model. I hope to run some collaborative training workshops with coaches from time to time. I expect to be at Larkview a number of nights per week and also get along to watch matches at the weekend.
We would finally like to welcome you to the Larkview Family and wish you every success in you role.
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