Release Date: 08/10/2012
Exclusive video interview with new Northern Ireland U19 Assistant Manager Stephen Craigan
THERE have been very few players as dedicated and committed to wearing the green shirt in recent years as Northern Ireland’s new Under-19 Assistant Manager, but when Stephen Craigan received the call from Michael O’Neill and Stephen Robinson to come into the coaching set-up he did not have to think twice about it.
After hanging up his boots at the end of the 2011/12 season with Motherwell, the man from Ards has moved seamlessly into media work with roles as a pundit for BBC Radio Scotland, ESPN and Sky Sports. However it was not long before his expertise and experience would bring coaching positions his way, and a role in the Northern Ireland set-up was one that he could not turn down.
“I met with Michael (O’Neill) over the summer and I was delighted when he said he wanted me to get involved, and having played with Robbo I know him a bit and it has been great,” said Craigan.
“I think Michael wanted to surround himself with people who have played International football, but that doesn’t mean that because you have played at that level that you are a better coach. Not at all. I think if you have done things, and are proud of what you have done and have shown an application to go and play for your country, then that is the big thing. Sometimes international footballers can be accused of not being interested enough or not putting enough effort into it. So if the younger players can learn good habits coming through then that will benefit them when they make it into the senior team.
“I loved playing for my country and to get the opportunity to come along and be involved in coaching the next generation has been really exciting.”
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