First in the country as ladies finals are streamed online
THE Sligo ladies club finals are scheduled to take place on September 16th, depending on the county’s run in the All- Ireland. An interesting aspect this year is the fact all three finals in Markievicz Park will be streamed online.
This is the third consecutive year that all the finals are being held in Markievicz Park. 2017 sees Coolera/ Strandhill v Curry in the Junior final, St Mary’s v Drumcliffe/ Rosses Point in the Intermediate and old foes St Nathy’s and Geevagh go head to head in the Senior Final. This promises to be a full day of unmissable action.
Keith Gilroy, Chairperson of Sligo Ladies, said it’s the first time ladies club finals are being streamed live in the country. He said: “I got the idea when I saw TG4 were streaming the Provincial finals this year and thought it was a good idea for people living abroad.
“I was thinking as we had the first treble header in Enniscrone three years ago and having the last two finals in Markievicz Park how could we top that. We’ve got great support from Paddy Galvin and all of the committee in Markievicz Park over the last two years as well. With this being the first year for me in the chair I wanted to heighten the profile of ladies football.
“I was looking at streaming the senior final first and when I was talking to the IT guys, they said they equipment was going to be there anyhow so why not stream all three.
“So that’s what we are doing. We’re getting four high quality video cameras in and will be streaming live on Youtube through a link so people can watch the games as they happen.
“This is going away and beyond anything we have ever done before at club level.
“When I was talking to the head office about guidelines, the guy was saying it hasn’t been done before, so we’re breaking new ground in ladies football anyhow, but in a way we’ve always been doing that. “We introduced the sin bin and the hooter clock and at national level, the referee can rely on another official watching a replay from the o. b. unit ( outside broadcasting). So the official can look back to see if it was a score or not. I think if the men brought in the sin bin it would cut out the cynical play,” Keith said.
The cost of streaming the three finals is costly enough, he pointed out. “We are selling ads and asking local businesses to pay € 100 and for that they will get their ad broadcast on the stream and in the match programme.
“We’re not asking to rob the bank, the response has been good and we’re hoping enough people will get involved.
“Hopefully it will show the way forward for clubs and counties. A lot of the girls who played with Sligo say in the last ten years or so are now all over the world.
“It’s for them too, so that they can watch their club finals. Take for example Mary- Ann Kennedy. She’s now playing football in American but is from St Nathy’s. That’s only one of many who are away,” Keith explained. In terms of the club finals, the games should be extremely competitive. “Coolera/ Strandhill are in the Junior final and that’s a big achievement on their part as this is the first year they have a team in ten years. They have a lot of quality with Ruth Goodwin, Laura- Ann Laffey, Jacqui Mulligan, to name a few.
“There have three St Farnan’s players on the panel. This is the third year in a row that St Mary’s are in the intermediate final. so they will be hoping to get over the line. Shane Breheny is the manager this year. Cathal Mullaney will be commentating live along with some of the girls doing analysis. “Marie Hickey, President of the Association will be there, as will Liam McDonagh from St Nathy’s who is the President of Connach, Mary Hernon, Secretary of Connacht and con Moynihan, the National Development Officer will also be among the guests on the day. It should be a great occasion,” Keith said.
He praised the achievements thus far with ladies football in the county this year. “It’s been a really busy year and we’re delighted to win the U14 Connacht B title, where we beat Mayo, and the U16s lost to Mayo in the Connacht final but won the All- Ireland C blitz and the minors lost to Roscommon in the Connacht final. This shows that we are challenging for titles, this year was the first time we were in a Provincial decider at underage level in four years.
“So we’re making the right steps forward and we need to continue to progress more. A big focus is on development of players and coaches to bring everyone up. It’s the coaches who improve the players on the pitch so we have to support clubs and coaches.
“The set- up is getting more and more professional as an organisation as a whole. There’s a plan in place from 2017- 2022 and development will be a big thing. Lidl has pumped a lot of money into it, especially into PR and they are working with schools and clubs. They have really heightened the profile of ladies football, which is what we all want.
“Finance is a big thing and we are always on the lookout for anyone who can assist. We’re delighted with the partnership of Connacht Gold and we brought CHH Engineers, High St, Blind Tiger and the Clayton Hotel on board this year, it’s good to expand. The girls work so hard, training three nights a week and juggling studying or working too,” Keith added. Email Keith on gilroykeith@ hotmail. com if you are interested in sponsorship.