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hughie is named as top manager

One of Wicklow's unsung Soccer administrators was honoured recently at the National Awards to Volunteers in Irish Sports with Hughie Nolan being named Youth Manager of the Year.

After two decades of service at the heart of Newtown Juniors FC, Nolan was one of 12 overall winners from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism initiative in conjunction with the Federation of Irish Sports which represents some 68 sports in Ireland.

With over 400,000 people give of their time voluntarily to sports

clubs and organisations in Ireland each year, Hughie admitted to being privileged by the recognition at the event which was staged at Farmleigh House last week.

"It was a nice surprise but a pleasant one" explained Chelsea fan Nolan whose daughter Lauren was one of the mascots for the Republic of Ireland Ladies international clash at Richmond Park last week against France.

He also thanked Gary Kelly from Newtown United for nominating him.

"I really appreciate my name being put forward by somebody who does a lot of Trojan work himself. I got so many texts and message of support. I really appreciate that. I've come across so many good people in the game. And it's a great game to be involved with."

Having retired from playing with Newtown United back in 1992, Hughie took over the running of the Juniors.

And since then, he has since overseen the development of some very talented footballers -- Clive Clarke, Paul McShane and Katie Taylor are just a few of the athletes who passed through the club.

Presently, Hughie is chairman and groundsman of the 'Juniors club as well as managing their Under 12 side.

But his dedication to the game does not stop there.

He manages Newtown's Under 14 Ladies side who play in the Dublin Women's Summer League (DWSL) as well as helping out with their Under 12 outfit.

Then there is the Wicklow Ladies Soccer Academy which he co-founded with Tony Poutch and Dave McGuirk over ten years ago.

Such has been the success of the Kilcoole based group, they've

produced three senior Republic f Ireland Ladies internationals such as Katie Taylor, Aine O'Gorman and Stephanie Roche as well as a number of underage starlets who've been capped by their country.

Another notch to Nolan's bow is that he the current Assistant Manager to the Heatons/Sportsworld WDSL U12 county squad.

WDSL Chairman Paul McManus led the praise in Nolan's achievement at the WDSL monthly meeting in Rathnew last week.

"We'd like to congratulate Hughie on his award. Every associated with the league is delighted for him. And we all him further success in the future."