Intense course for Town boss Magilton

WHILE the majority of the Blues staff and squad will be sunning themselves over the next few days, Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton has been warned to expect a tough week in Belfast.

By Derek Davis

WHILE the majority of the Blues staff and squad will be sunning themselves over the next few days, Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton has been warned to expect a tough week in Belfast.

The Town boss today starts a week-long intensive coaching course at Stranmillis in Northern Ireland as part of his UEFA 'A' licence, which will test his fitness, stamina and knowledge. The Irish FA are keen to fast-track Magilton as he is a working championship manager, but as Ireland's performance manager Nigel Best points out it is no soft option.

Best said: “UEFA accepts that with coaches and managers in a situation like Jim is in, there is a need to fast-track them, but all of the syllabus still needs to be completed.


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“Due to his depth of knowledge there are many aspects of the course that Jim will already know with all his experience as a top-class player in England and as a Northern Ireland international. We are looking forward to seeing Jim here in Belfast and I'm sure he is fully prepared for the hard work that lays ahead.”

Magilton chose to do his course in Northern Ireland along with a host of other coaches including Steve Lomas and Gerry Taggart, rather than the English FA course at Warwick University, where managers studying include Colchester United's Geraint Williams.

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But any hopes Magilton had of turning the trip into a social occasion ended when he saw the schedule, which includes a 9am start on Saturday and Sunday, as they look to cram in 75 hours of coaching, the vast majority out on the training pitch.

Magilton said: “I was hoping for a jolly-up back home, but it is going to be far from that. Still, it is a cracking course to be on and important for me and Ipswich Town.”

All professional managers/coaches in charge of teams throughout Europe will need to have completed the UEFA pro-licence, which is the next step after the 'A' Licence by 2010.

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