Tom Elmes Interview by Dylan O’Connell

From scoring the very first goal in League of Ireland football for WEXFORD YOUTHS to coaching WEXFORD YOUTHS WOMEN to league and cup glory, Tom Elmes is a man known for success in the south East of Ireland.

After four league titles, three FAI Women Cups, and one League Cup, Elmes is now setting himself a new challenge, by undertaking the UEFA PRO-LICENSE course,

Tom: “I went through the application process for the PRO-LICENSE course earlier this year and I was recently accepted. I’m really excited to get going in November,” Tom told Pro-Scout 3.

Tom: “Former Irish international and CHAMPIONS LEAGUE winner John O’Shea will be on the course along with SHELBOURNE manager Ian Morris. It will be a great opportunity to learn alongside of them.”

Tom: “I have my own coaching PHILOSOPHY and it is built on two things: Creating a family dynamic in the squad and always having a high intensity.”

Tom: “The family dynamic comes from good communication between myself and the players. When there is good communication with a good open and honest flow, a real sense of trust can be created that will bring everyone together. This is something I really focus on.”

Tom: “My PHILOSOPHY also focuses on intensity. When we are training we replicate the intensity of a game. We don’t want training to be slow with a low intensity. We want, from the moment the players step onto the pitch, a high intensity to everything they do.”

Tom: “Those two things are most important to me as a coach. After that we work on our style of play and our in game strategy. Having good and communication with a high intensity allows for everything else to fall into place.”

One of the main factors to Tom’s successes in recent years has been his focus on YOUTH DEVELOPMENT and NURTURING of young talent at Wexford.

Tom: “We have been bringing up some of the U17 players into the senior squad. It is important for them to be with the first team and to see what they should aspire. Right now we have a strong u17 squad coming through and I am very excited to work with them.”

Tom: “One player, Blessing Kingsley has really stood out. We gave her minutes with the senior team every so often last season. She has a fantastic attitude and talent. With each appearance we told her that her time will come. She understood this and she seized every opportunity she could. Every time we see her on the pitch she is showcasing what she has learned in training. That showed when she came on in the FAI Women’s Cup final.”

Tom’s plans for 2020 where curtailed last March, just three days before the first game of the season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he and his coaching staff are working tirelessly for when they have the green light to return to the pitch.

Tom: “At the moment we are keeping the players training. We have strong links with IT Carlow so we have programs made out for them. But, it is hard to plan when we don’t know when we will be back. We could be back next month, in August, or if we’ll be back at all. But, if we do get the call, we know that we will be in the strongest and fittest position for the return of football.”

Tom: “It is important to try and have normality for next season. We need to look at a shortened season with play offs for the top four. For me, the important thing is to get a season played this year and to have some normality in 2021.”