FORMER Cork goalkeeper and eight-time All-Ireland LGFA winner Elaine Harte has joined the Tipperary men’s senior football setup for 2022.
Two-time All-Star Elaine Harte has accepted an offer from Tipp senior manager David Power to take up the men’s GAA goalkeeping coach role for the coming season.
“This was something that happened over the Christmas period so I’m delighted to get going and there are really exciting times ahead,” Harte told the Echo.
“I have never worked with David Power before and didn’t ask how he got my number! David made contact just prior to Christmas and asked to meet up. I knew of David and the success he had with both the Tipp minor and senior footballers. We chatted away and I was very happy with the way he was talking and how organised he was.
Things just went from there and I am delighted to join the Tipperary senior football management team.”
Elaine Harte is no stranger to coaching. Living in Tipperary since 2004, the former Cork goalkeeper led the county’s minors to All-Ireland minor B glory eight years ago.
Since then, Harte has enhanced her coaching reputation whilst working with Moyne Templetuohy and other setups before accepting a new goalkeeping coaching role with the Tipperary men’s seniors.
Harte’s decision to take on such a high-profile coaching role in the male-dominated GAA arena is a welcome development. The former Cork shot-stopper hopes more women will look to fulfil similar GAA coaching roles in the near future.
“There are not an awful lot of female coaches going into the male side of things but there are plenty of men looking to get involved in ladies football and camogie,” Harte admitted.
“Hopefully, my new role might be the start of something different and a lot more women will start to get more involved in GAA coaching. It is an honour to be asked in the first place. After a discussion with my family and a few friends, I was delighted to jump in.” Being a senior inter-county coach is an incredibly time-consuming role. Yet, Harte knows exactly what it takes to be successful at senior level and the necessary sacrifices following a trophy-laden decade whilst playing in goal for the Cork LGFA seniors.
“It is a really professional setup here Tipperary and I’m really enjoying my new role,” the former Cork goalkeeper said.
“Yes, it is very time-consuming and that’s why I had to think about accepting the role a little bit. I suppose, once you go into something, you have to go into it 100%. Training on the pitch is one thing but you are there an hour or so beforehand and then staying on for a meeting afterwards.
“You are always planning your next session. What needs to be done, what area are you going to work on next week? There is a lot of work behind the scenes that, as a player, you would never have been involved in or thought of. In terms of coaching, these are things you have to think of and prepare for, making sure everything goes to plan.
"I’m not on my own though in terms of having other women already involved in the Tipperary management team as nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches and psychologists.”
Elaine Harte’s new role is a specialised one. Becoming a goalkeeping coach means you are working one-on-one with the county’s top keepers, need to develop trust and a solid working relationship in a short period of time.
“It has to be seamless really which is why the first couple of training sessions were so important,” Elaine Harte said.
“There is so much to work on. Being a goalkeeper is a very specific role. Nowadays, goalkeepers have to be very good footballers and you are training them for a specific job out on the pitch.
"Psychology plays a massive role in being a goalkeeper as well as building coach-player relationships. That takes time and I’m just getting to know the lads. They are really motivated though and that’s why I’m looking forward to working with them over the coming year.”