Bray People - - SPORT -

WICK­LOW GAA seen a change in hurl­ing of­fi­cer at the 2014 Con­ven­tion as Jim Bob Doyle’s five-year stint came to a close. Elected into the po­si­tion with­out chal­lenge was Avon­dale’s Sean Hayes who de­clared that he was grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity and that he wished to bring hurl­ing up to the next level in the county.

Jim Bob Doyle’s fi­nal re­port out­lined his work­ings for the past year and high­lighted some of the frus­tra­tions felt at the coal­face of hurl­ing in the county.

“My re­port this year will be my fi­nal one as hurl­ing of­fi­cer as my five years in of­fice is com­ing to a close. It is with sad­ness I am writ­ing this, I have en­joyed my time as hurl­ing of­fi­cer although there have been times that I have re­gret­ted tak­ing on the job, when I couldn’t see any im­me­di­ate progress and be­came frus­trated. It has been an hon­our and a priv­i­lege to rep­re­sent my county and my club and I would like to thank ev­ery­one who helped and sup­ported me in any way over the past five years.

“I hope on read­ing this you will re­alise how much com­mit­ment and time is spent by ev­ery­one on man­age­ment go­ing to meet­ings, matches and just be­cause your ti­tle is “hurl­ing of­fi­cer” that doesn’t say you don’t look at all as­pects of Wick­low GAA. Wick­low hurl­ing is at a good place at the mo­ment we have good tal­ent com­ing through and if the clubs of the county get be­hind them we will be very close to mak­ing a break­through in the Christy Ring com­pe­ti­tion.

Jan­uary started with great ex­pec­ta­tions as Le­in­ster coun­cil had ex­pressed in­ter­est in help­ing pro­mote hurl­ing in the county and they of­fered their support. We put to­gether our pro­pos­als of what we thought would pro­mote and strengthen hurl­ing in Wick­low. Some of the pro­pos­als were, to set up a com­mit­tee to look after all as­pects of the game of hurl­ing from un­der age to adult and bring our find­ings back to our man­age­ment for ap­proval. Another was to pro­vide out­side games for adults and Un­der-16s as we had no­ticed at this age there is high drop off and very few games for th­ese teams within the county.

“In Fe­bru­ary our com­mit­tee was set up by our Games Manger Hugh Kenny where he sent out in­vi­ta­tions to any­one who would be in­ter­ested in work­ing on this project. All clubs and some in­di­vid­ual’s re­ceived in­vi­ta­tions un­for­tu­nately fewer than we hoped an­swered the call. The few peo­ple that did are work­ing well and are un­known to many there is very good proac­tive work been done e.g. more in­ter­nal games been set up, pro­gress­ing with de­vel­op­ment squads. Hope­fully the fruits of our work will be seen in com­ing years. I take this op­por­tu­nity to thank each and ev­ery mem­ber of this com­mit­tee for their work and ded­i­ca­tion and wish them well in the fu­ture.

“As I stated ear­lier we wished to start an out­side adult com­pe­ti­tion with our Se­nior teams. Eight teams were to take part in this event. Plans and dates were sent out to the clubs with a hope that they would see the ben­e­fits of this com­pe­ti­tion. Our rep­re­sen­ta­tive on Le­in­ster coun­cil, Lester Ryan was no­ti­fied and plans were put in place by them to fa­cil­i­tate this into their clubs. Sadly only one club came back with an in­ter­est. Hav­ing to in­form Lester Ryan that our clubs in Wick­low were not in­ter­ested was one of the most up­set­ting and em­bar­rass­ing things I had to do as hurl­ing of­fi­cer. Yes there was work to be done on the project but only to get one club to show an in­ter­est and re­ply in­forms me how far be­hind Wick­low club hurl­ing man­age­ment is and how short sighted they are es­pe­cially for the youth of our clubs.

In May we looked at fix­tures and I have to com­mend our fix­tures or­gan­is­ers be­cause it’s a thank­less job, one that I would not like to do my­self. Our ju­ve­nile fix­tures have to be looked at. Some clubs do not want to play at cer­tain times of the year and oth­ers don’t want to par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions. It must be a night­mare for any­body to do this and hold down a job as well as or­gan­ise fix­tures. Our Mi­nor fix­tures went to our Se­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tives which I don’t agree with be­cause they are try­ing to ar­range Se­nior, In­ter­me­di­ate andJju­nior com­pe­ti­tions.

Most of our Mi­nor boys are tied up with th­ese com­pe­ti­tions also lead­ing to clubs and men­tors not will­ing to par­tic­i­pate. For ex­am­ple this year we got the Mi­nor foot­ball fi­nal played with our Se­nior fi­nal which was great, but our hurl­ing fi­nal was left for the muck and slop of Novem­ber weather and with only four teams in the com­pe­ti­tion it just doesn’t make sense. (Some­thing has to be done here; maybe get­ting dates down at the start of the year and not let­ting any other events in­ter­rupt the set dates.)

“Be­ing the hurl­ing of­fi­cer of Wick­low has been a great hon­our and who­ever takes over my job I wish them the best of luck. If there is any­thing I can help with or ad­vise them on all they have do is ask and I will be more than happy to help. It’s a hard job as i have stated all ready and I’ve made a few mis­takes over the last five years. I have made some peo­ple very un­happy and I sin­cerely apol­o­gise for this. Hope­fully I’ve made more friends over my time as hurl­ing of­fi­cer. I have al­ways tried to do the right thing for hurl­ing in Wick­low. I thank you for the op­por­tu­nity and giv­ing me the hon­our of be­ing your hurl­ing of­fi­cer. I would like to wish each and ev­ery one of you a happy and peace­ful 2015. Thank you,” he added.

Wick­low’s new hurl­ing of­fi­cer, Sean Hayes from Avon­dale.

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