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FOOTBALL: Big boss chat.

Byline: Paul KEANE

THE Football Manager's Association of Ireland has lined up John Barnwell as keynote speaker at its inaugural AGM meeting in a fortnight's time.

The meeting which is set to take place in Athlone on May 23 will see the FMAI officially constituted and the appointment of a new committee put in place.

FMAI chiefs are confident that Barnwell, currently head of the League Manager's Association in England, will attend.

The veteran soccer administrator lined out for Arsenal, Nottingham Forest and Wolves in a distinguished playing career and made his name as a manager with AEK Athens and Notts County.

He took over from Gordon Milne as LMA Chief Executive in 1996 and has made considerable progress on behalf of managers since.

The FMAI, currently headed up by former Drogheda boss Harry McCue (Chairman), Longford chief Alan Matthews (Treasurer) and Dublin City's John Gill (Secretary), hope to tap into Barnwell's vast knowledge on the day.

The association has got significant feedback in its short existence from league bosses and 20 managers from a possible 22 turned up at their last get together.

The upcoming meeting will be a watershed date, however, with a constitution set to be drawn up and a band of managers appointed to an overall committee.

The issues on the day will be wide ranging and are set to include managers' contracts, better communications with referees, liaising with the media and the proper transfer of players in the transfer window.

Meanwhile, the recently established Status of Players committee will meet next Wednesday week for the third time since its inception earlier this year.

The group includes Irish international boss Brian Kerr, FAI Chief Executive Fran Rooney and PFAI official Fran Gavin.

One of the group's primary functions will be how to deal with the pathway of players from schoolboy level to the end of their careers and any possible compensation that may arise for junior and schoolboy clubs.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:May 9, 2004
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