Celebrating football for the over 35s
CELEBRATING football for the over 35s is at the heart of the fiercely competitive Comórtas Peile Tommy Griffin, which was held in Dingle over the weekend.
This was the sixth year of the competition, run by the five time All-Ireland senior championship medal winner. Nine teams competed, with teams from around the country, over the water from London and as far South as Liffré in Brittany. St. Brendan’s Killarney were the overall winners after they defeated West Kerry in the final.
Comórtas Peile Tommy Griffin is for players over 35 years of age and, bearing in mind that fitness levels mightn’t be what they were, the matches are played with 13 players a side and 15 minute halves. The tournament was played on the pitch at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne as well as in Páirc an Ágahsaigh.
Tommy started the weekend as a way of introducing recreational football for former players. “People can play golf well into their sixties... but with football you train hard and then there is nothing,” said Tommy who knows only to well the personal commitment that is involved in successfully representing your county and club.
The weekend also facilitated a reunion of the Sem team that won the Hogan Cup 25 years ago, with members of that team flying from as far as Los Angeles to join in the celebrations. The Sem 1992 team included three players from West Kerry, Breándán Fitzgerald, John Dorgan and Conor O’Donnell, the former pair togged out over the weekend alongside Seamus Moynihan who has made the trip West every year of the competition and, according to Tommy, was “the fittest man there”.
The shield cup was won by Adare who beat Naomh Barróg of Dublin. It is onwards and upwards for the tournament as another batch of players will reach the required 35 years and qualify to play in next years tournament.
Meanwhile, recreational football will be the last thing on Tommy’s mind at the weekend when the Kerry minor team he coaches takes on Derry in the All-Ireland Minor Championship final. Dingle’s Deividas Uosis will be in goal for Kerry and hopefully he will have the same success as Paud O’Donoghue – the player of the tournament in Dingle at the weekend who didn’t concede a single goal during the competition.
The West Kerry Team that played in the final of the Tommy Griffin Over 35 Tournament in Páirc an Ághasaigh on Saturday. Back: Jim Kelliher, Aodán Mac Gearailt, Gene Farrell, Paddy Barrett, Denis Devane, John Hickson, Diarmuid Murphy, Seán Dorgan, Liam Óg Higgins. Front: David Devane, Padraig Corcoran with his son Fergal, Johnny B. Brosnan, Kevin Griffin, David Clifford, John Flannery, and Séamus O’Dowd along with the team’s mascots.