Former Republic of Ireland coach Mick McCarthy welcomed the "valuable" opportunity to "share thoughts and experiences" as the second UEFA Media Conference opened in Manchester yesterday.
McCarthy, who led the Irish to the FIFA World Cup second round in June before resigning his post last month, was one of several guest speakers on the opening day of the conference at Manchester United FC's Old Trafford stadium.
'A good idea'
He told uefa.com: "It's a good idea - any time colleagues can get together, whether coaches, administrators or the media and share thoughts and experiences it's really valuable and I am glad to be here and part of it. You can be asked questions but I also posed questions myself."
McCarthy, whose presentation focused on the national coach's relationship with the media, discussed his experiences as Ireland coach, particularly some of the difficulties he faced in the Far East last summer. Another perspective came from Italian referee Pierluigi Collina who spoke about the relationship between referees and the media.
'An important conference'
Mike Lee, UEFA's Director of Communications and Public Services, said: "This is an important conference for many reasons that are central to UEFA's ideals. It's not only about learning together how to handle the media but also how to make sure we have the right people, the right sort of protection and how we can establish the best practical procedure for the future."
Invited delegates at the conference were club press officers from all clubs involved in the UEFA Champions League this season, representatives of all the European national associations and UEFA media officers.
They also heard presentations on UEFA EURO 2004™ organisation, media facilities and media services, and UEFA's Non-Top Competitions, including youth, women's and amateur football and Futsal. In addition there was a presentation on UEFA New Media by uefa.com editor-in-chief David Farrelly.
Link to supporters
Frits Ahlström, the UEFA Senior Media Officer and conference organiser, said good communication was vital to maintain the link with supporters. "The supporters are very, very important to us and we have to shorten the link to supporters," he said. "We need the media for the coaches, the referees and the players to be able to communicate to the supporters. Otherwise they cannot do it and that is not good for the promotion of the game."
The highlights of the second day are due to include a speech by Manchester United FC manager Sir Alex Ferguson on the relationship between the head coach and the media, and another by Manchester City FC goalkeeper and former Denmark captain Peter Schmeichel on the player and the media.
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