Liam gets free kick from football field research

12 September 2022 | News

How do amateur coaches fit into professional sport? Liam Mulcahy wanted to find out.

The coach education advisor and Head of Pre-Academy at the Ole Football Academy has an extensive resume in the game, also being the former Halswell United AFC football development manager.

He took advantage of the fees-free postgraduate offerings at Lincoln to explore his areas of interest within the sports industry, and considered the issue from the sidelines as part of his Master of Sport and Recreation Management degree last year.

With supervisor Professor Roslyn Kerr, he published his research results in the article, The management of volunteer coaches in football clubs in New Zealand.

The design of the course allowed agency of thinking to explore areas of passion and interest including a 'wicked problem' of systemic professionalisation within amateur sport in New Zealand and the effects on the coach.

The study found club managers felt considerable pressure from the national body to adapt to professionalisation demands through managing paid coaches with business-like methods.

However, they also have to balance providing a positive, fulfilling experience for volunteer coaches.

The findings will have immediate practical applications, through Liam being able to utilise his work in his own practice of working with coaches.

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