Sponsor continues backing of football team
BEST OF the breaking news this week was that Seán Mulryan and Ballymore Homes are remaining on as the sponsors of the Wicklow Senior football team for another year.
Arthur French conveyed that news to County Chairman Andy O’Brien at the weekend after he had a meeting with the sponsor.
Arthur believes that Mulryan will stay with Wicklow as long as Mick O’Dwyer remains as manager.
Reacting to the announcement Andy O’Brien said that it was great news for the team and the county. ‘Seán Mulryan’, he said, ‘is a long term friend of Wicklow football and supported us many times in the past. The fact that he was in attendance at out matches over the last two years showed that he had a genuine interest in the team.
‘On behalf of the County Board and on my own behalf I thank him sincerely for his continued support and hope that we will be able to repay his loyalty with good results in the year ahead.
Only another three weeks left to the start up of activities at national level and Micko is like a hen on a hot griddle as he waits for the off. He is putting in his time going around to the clubs, making presentations and talking to the up and coming generation of footballers. Last week we heard he was in places like Avondale and Eire Og-Greystones so if he can’t reap the corn at the moment he is at least sowing the seeds.
The moratorium on training will be lifted shortly and Micko and everyone else will be going into overdrive. Everyone will be trying to make up for lost time so the players can expect a tough time this spring.
The colleges teams will be taking part in the O’Byrne Cup and it appears that the training ban does not apply to them so they should have an edge in fitness, so don’t rule out a surprise or two.
Wicklow’s first match is at home to Carlow on the 4th of January.
GARDEN COUNTY ALL STARS 2008
Four Wicklow clubs, Kiltegan, Glenealy, Rathnew and Carnew will be celebrating on the double this Christmas after the announcements of the Garden County All Stars for 2008.
County football champions Kiltegan saw their great midfielder Jacko Dalton being voted Senior Club Footballer of the Year while Keith Furlong got the Junior A award.
Hurling champions Glenealy also had two winners. Jonathan O’Neill was voted County Hurler of the Year while Keith Snell is the Intermediate Hurler of the Year.
Leighton Glynn of Rathnew is the County Footballer of the Year while great veteran Ed Jameson was voted Junior C player.
Carnew also got up the double; another great veteran Don Hyland was voted Club Hurler of the Year while and TJ Hennessy got the Minor Hurler of the Year.
The Full list of winners: County Senior Footballer – Leighton Glynn (Rathnew); County Senior Hurler – Jonathan O’Neill (Glenealy); Club Senior Footballer – John Paul Dalton (Kiltegan); Club Senior Hurler Don Hyland (Carnew); Intermediate Football – Alan Byrne (Annacurra); Junior A Footballer – Keith Furlong (Kiltegan); Junior B Footballer – Shay Cullen (An Tochar); Junior C Footballer – Ed Jameson (Rathnew); Minor Footballer - David Haughton (Bray Emmets); Intermediate Hurler – Keith Snell (Glenealy); Junior Hurler – Ciarán Doyle (Newcastle); Minor Hurler – TJ Hennessy (Carnew); Camogie – Karen Walsh (Donard/Glen); Ladies Football – Laurie Aherne (Eire Og/Greystones); Handball – Patricia Doyle, Coolboy, Club Person of the Year – Brian Culleton, (Avoca).
The South District U-12 Development squad assembled in Tinahely for their second trial session.
Once again there were over 30 players present, representing seven clubs.
All players put in a tremendous effort in freezing conditions, the level of dedication, discipline and skill which players were showing will prove to be very worthwhile and enjoyable for this squad and mentors.
Coaches Martin Hamilton and Martin Ging wish to thank Garry Duffy for travelling from Wicklow town to take the training session. Thanks also to County Senior panelist John McGrath from Baltinglass for coming along to talk to the lads and help out with the training.
The mentors would also like to thank all the parents for taking the time out of their busy schedule to bring the players to the sessions.
The 36 strong squad was as follows: Richard Lambert, Cathal Murphy, John Gregan (Shillelagh); Daniel Owens, Roan Lynch, Ciarán Doyle, Dean Barnes, Elliot Robinson (Aughrim/Annacurra); Jack Furlong, Adam Forde, John Paul Hurley, Jack Hamilton, Jimmy Farrell, Christopher O’Brien, Darren Dempsey, Jay Wolohan, Liam Gregory, Jack Jameson, Patrick Salley, Eoghan Doyle (AGB); Eoghan Dolan, Pádraig Waterton (Coolkenno); Seán Doyle, Jamie Cullen, Cian Doyle, Noel Mulhall, Harry Sullivan, Oisin Furlong, Alan Dillon, Niall Gorman (Tinahely); Harrison Penn, Darren Beevor, Shane Beaver (Avondale); Daniel Curry, Enda Donohue, Adam Barnes (Carnew).
Any club wishing to send other players should contact Martin Hamilton, AGB (0879083555) or Martin Ging, Tinahely (086-3714482)
Jerome Kelly was very pleased with the turnout of players and the general standard at the final trial session for the U-14 development squad, held in the new Bray Emmets grounds in Old Conna on Saturday.
There was almost 70 boys present so the selectors had a hard task whittling that down to the 30 0r so that will make up the final panel. As soon as they completed their deliberations we will bring you that final panel.
The U-15 district teams have matches on Thursday night. West will play East in Newtown while North will play South in Avondale – both games at 7.30 p.m..
The final trials for that squad will be held in the new grounds
in Blessington on Saturday.
CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL
Two national awards again for Wicklow at the Annual Presentation night in Kilkenny.
Congratulations to Cumann na mBunscol and in particular their PRO Ciarán Byrne on this recent achievement.
Not for the first time Ciarán has reached the top bracket in the Public Relations category. His month by month accounts of activities in the Garden County impressed the assessors and even against very strong opposition won Wicklow the runner-up prize.
His Fixtures and Information Booklet was also a front runner and was awarded the runnerup place in the ‘Best Publications’ section.
Just one more area where a Wicklow team are up there with the leaders.
The County Committee hosted a dinner for the referees of the county in the Royal Hotel, Glendalough on Friday night
The event was sponsored by former Kilbride and Wicklow footballer Fergal Donoghue of Boom & Platform Hire Ltd, Blessington.
The guest speakers on the night were two of our leading national referees. Maurice Deegan of Laois who refereed this year’s All-Ireland final and great Wexford whistler Dicky Murphy.
County Chairman Andy O’Brien welcomed the guests and the referees of the county and in a brief address said ‘Tonight I would like to thank you our referees for your work week in week out, your work is fully appreciated . You play a vital and important role within our games structures and to that end it is extremely important that county management support the role of the referee.’
Andy reminded his listeners that the referees’ detailed match report, returned on time was vital. Without it no review of a match can take place so I would ask you to keep this in mind.
‘Failure to do this can allow the perpetrator to laugh at the system and to repeat the same .offence .
‘I am sure that in my role as Chairman during the year I will make many mistakes, and I am sure some of you may feel the same, however my view is when we make a mistake we hold up out hand, support the effected, learn from it, and move on together.
Andy ended by thanking those who arranged the night – Victor O’Shaughnessy, Mick Hagan, Tom Byrne, Michael Murphy, Peadar Smith and John Doran and in particular Fergal Donoghue for his sponsorship.
The usual presentations to referees were made on the night and this year Andy O’Brien found himself handing out trophies on the double. For the first time ever both county Senior finals ended in draws which meant there was four referees to be honoured instead of two.
Declan Peppard and Declan Greene received the awards for the football finals while Eddie Leonard and Declan Byrne were honoured for the hurling finals.
Three of Hugh Kenny’s ‘Young Whistlers’ Joe Glennon, Keith Peppard and Kevin Cullen were attending their first function while there were three father/son combinations present – Declan and Keith Peppard; Liam and Kevin Cullen and Liam and John Keenan. Presentations were also made to the two guest speakers, Dicky Murphy from Wexford and Maurice Degan, Laois.
I am sure a lot of people would like to know what they are doing right in Kiltegan and what was the secret of their great success in 2008.
They have three adult teams in an area that could barely support one junior team a few years ago.
And this year all three teams won their county championships, something that was never achieved before, even by the strong clubs from the big towns.
The Miley Cup was back on the sideboard, the hurlers reached the semi-final of the championship and even the girls did well, getting to the final of the Senior championship. So what was the secret? Come with me to the Annual General Meeting, but come early, we may have to queue. The Secretary Collie Doyle was handing out the booklet that contained, among other things his own glowing report of a great year.
Noel Farrell delivered his first address as Chairman, and what a floury one it was. He was handing out bouquets like snuff at a wake and thanking everyone in sight.
When treasurers Michael Lennon presented he balance sheet a lot of us feared for the worst at the end of such a busy and expensive year.
We need not have worried. The books were still in the black and the club in a sound financial position, thanks mainly to the extraordinary generosity of the supporters.
That was surely the icing on the cake – what was left to go wrong.
Then came the election of officers for 2009 and straight away there was a rush for the exits led by the Chairman himself who thought that one year was enough in the job.
The vice-chairman Tony Kelly was not seeking re-election and then the Secretary of one year Collie Doyle announced that he was stepping down for family reasons.
The biggest shock of all came when the Senior team manager Gavin Wynne conveyed the message to the meeting that he too was stepping down.
At 28 years of age Gavin was one of the youngest managers to bring home the Miley Cup and now he was gone.
Some of us were thinking of suitable wording for the winding-up notice – something like ‘For Sale – Three football teams, Good Pedigree, in perfect working order, genuine reason for selling’.
However Mick Carney got the show back on the road when he took over as Chairman; one of the young guns Barry John O’Toole took over as vicechairman and the position of secretary and team manager was put back to the first meeting of the Committee. So all is well that ends well.
SCÓR NA NÓG
Little luck for Wicklow at the Leinster semi-finals of Scor na nOg, held in the Downes GAA centre in Westmeath on Saturday. In fact Westmeath and Longford dominated the show and left very little for any one else.
The Dancers and Solo Singer from Carnew, the Novelty Act and recitation from Rathnew and the Instrumental Music from An Tochar all gave it their best shot but failed to get the nod from the judges.
It was left, once again, to the ever reliable question time team from Ballymanus to keep the Wicklow flag flying.
Darragh and Anne O’Keeffe and Deirdre 0’Neill got through to the finals and will again represent Wicklow again at a Westmeath venue on January 10th.
Wicklow referees at a dinner in the Glendalough Hotel hosted by the County Board and sponsor Feargal Donoghue of Boom & Platform Hire Ltd., on Friday.