Dungannon coach shortlisted for ‘Peoples Award’

Joe McAree
Joe McAree

Dungannon Swifts’s Joe McAree (MBE) has been shortlisted in the ‘People’s Award’ category at the McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards 2014.

Now in its fourth year, the McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards recognise and reward the clubs, coaches and volunteers that make outstanding contributions to grassroots football across Northern Ireland.

The People’s Award gives members of the public the chance to select the winner through an online voting portal. The judging panel has listed Joe on the shortlist of four candidates and local people are being urged to go online at www.irishfa.com/peoplesaward to cast their vote for Joe!

Joe has been involved in local football for over 40 years and is the former Dungannon Swifts manager. He has worked tirelessly promoting the values of football in the South Tyrone community and for his efforts was awarded an MBE in The Queen’s New Year Honours List earlier this year.

Joe currently holds the position of Community Relations Officer at Swifts, ensuring that the Club is welcoming to prospective football players.

He joined the club as manager of its third team in 1972 and ever since has been the driving force behind transforming the Mid Ulster junior club into an established Premiership side for over a decade.

A man of tremendous vision, Joe has inspired all those around him to develop every facet of the Dungannon club, in particular the development of facilities at his beloved Stangmore Park.

Joe is up against Desmond Davenport from Rathfriland Football Club, Anthony Andrew from Andersonstown Celtic and George Elliot who is involved in the IFA Excellence Programme for the prestigious award.

Commenting on the People’s Award, Pat Jennings, McDonald’s Head of Northern Ireland Football, said: “McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards provide a great opportunity to pay tribute to those people who do so much for grassroots football and the ‘People’s Award’ category enables the public to have its say in rewarding our local football heroes. We have four incredibly strong candidates in Joe, Desmond, Anthony and George and wish them all the best for the awards campaign.

“The Awards form a key part of McDonald’s Community Partnership with the Irish FA. The partnership is delivering a lasting legacy for community football, providing clubs with the support and assistance they need to go from strength to strength.”

To view and vote for shortlisted candidates visit http://irishfa.com/mcdonalds-community-awards/peoples-awards/ .