Gamble stepping in the right direction in the world of coaching

Gamble stepping in the right direction in the world of coaching
Joe Gamble, looks during the warm up of the members of the Colleges & Universities National Team. Picture: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

FOR Joe Gamble it's all about stepping stones.

Going forward at a pace that will eventually see him fulfil his ambition of being a League of Ireland coach or manager.

For now the next step on his career path is helping College Corinthians to success in the Munster Senior League.

With a strength and conditioning degree behind him, and coaching experience at various levels under his belt the former Cork City star is enjoying his role with the progressive Corinthians club.

College Corinthians chairman Paul O'Connell with coach Joe Gamble, players and John Wilkins of CAB Motors.
College Corinthians chairman Paul O'Connell with coach Joe Gamble, players and John Wilkins of CAB Motors.

"I've been involved with Corinthians since 2011 and to be honest I am enjoying every bit of it," said Gamble. 

"When I qualified as a strength and conditioning coach when Paddy O'Keeffe was the manager and Tadhg was his assistant, I wanted to get some experience six years ago, I got a chance to come on board at Corinthians. While I was still playing I was still interested in coaching, so I did the pre-season that year and stayed on board in a bit part capacity for the remainder of the season. I am now the senior coach, Tadhg O'Connell is the manager. I predominantly take the training sessions on a weekly basis after discussing what we need to work on with Tadhg."

Hoping to do his UEFA A badge this year, Gamble has always had an interest in coaching and his dream of becoming a league of Ireland manager doesn't seem too far off the horizon.

"I've completed my UEFA B badge and will be completing my A badge this year or next, whenever I get confirmation of the next course date from the FAI. I always knew that I'd go into coaching and management one day, it's something I feel passionate about. 

"I always tried to be active when I was playing to coach teams or be involved in some capacity learning from football managers/coaches. In my experience it's not always the so called top level coaches with high-pedigree CVs that I have learned the most from."

So how did a young inexperienced guy like Gamble sell himself as a good coach?

"I'm a big believer in you don't get a second chance to make a first impression no matter what you do in life so starting out I feel it's vital that you portray who you are as a person and coach, for me I'd be a demanding person of myself and players. 

"I want everything to be right all the time, train as you play, don't just turn up to train and do it half hearted, either be present with enthusiasm or don't turn up at all.

"To show how good you are as a coach that's for the players to decide as they are the are ones who will ultimately be your biggest fan or critic. Looking back at my own career and maybe it's how I coach I want to push the players to their capacity and never settle for ok, never settle for complacency. 

"I wanted a manager that would push me and improve me. I didn't want him to be my best friend I've enough of friends and I wanted someone to excel my career and be the best that I could be and that I think is a reasonability of coaches/managers to improve every single player in your squad."

Joe Gamble in his playing days with Cork City.
Joe Gamble in his playing days with Cork City.

Like many clubs, playing attractive football is key to fun and success and Gamble is no different as he uses his expertise in his coaching structures throughout the club.

"The club's philosophy at Corinthians is to play an attractive brand of football with playing out from the back, playing through the units and attacking wise be expansive. In order to do that you need technically good players, to be very fit physically and committed players who go beyond training twice a week, so the demands we ask of the players are higher but why be involved in football if you are not willing to be pushed out of your comfort zone?

"Of course it's important to win and be competitive especially at senior level but if I can help develop the younger players then its an added bonus. My own philosophy is that I want players that want to play, not afraid to make mistakes, always want the ball even when they probably shouldn't get it and have the belief that they are the best player every time they walk onto the pitch.

"The club follow the same coaching procedures throughout all age groups. We are looking at all age groups conforming to a club philosophy. We have stated the process in little steps it's not a simple procedure all coaches have different backgrounds so need to realistically create guidelines and be patient. 

"There is a schoolboys section and senior/youth structure. We've done coach the coaches session so far and will be throughout the year be looking to do four to five in total, it's the start of a process but I think it's a great initiative and will only grow.

"My ambition is to manage in the League of Ireland some day hopefully not too many years away. I feel I have the right characteristics to succeed and maybe have different traits/qualities than other managers, overall I simply back myself I've always done that, but ultimately you need a club to give you that platform as I might think I'm great and I'm this and that but if no-one thinks you're capable of the job it's irrelevant."

But for me, Gamble's main focus is on Corinthians.

"Each season is never the same we either improve or we go backwards simple as that. We had a very good start to last season but towards the end, that faded. I personally hope and believe we can have a serious challenge in the league this season and if we improve on our points tally than last year that's an improvement then let's see where that takes the team."

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