DEDICATED and passionate sports people are what every club needs.
Kieran McCarthy is a true Cork sportsman who lives and breathes sport, and through his passion, commitment and support he has been able to contribute so much to the next generation.
Tramore Athletic and the Barrs are two clubs close to his heart and for the past few decades McCarthy, also known as Beagar, has made a huge impact through his involvement with both clubs.
Having had a superb career as a player in both codes, here he tells us about the joy sport has brought to his life.
“Sport has always played a huge role in my life,” said McCarthy.
“I joined Tramore at the age of 15 along with my buddy Micheal O’Sullivan (Sullie). I played for the best part of 15 years and I played as a sweeper and defender.
“We were successful from the word go winning the U16 double under Dave Mahon. We had a fantastic youths team under the management of the great Denis Galvin and we won the FAI Youths Cup.
“David O’Connor and Kieran O’Regan were stand out players in that squad and over the two years in youths we won everything that was available to win.
“I then played with the juniors for a year as I was playing hurling for the Barrs and I couldn’t commit to Tramore as hurling was, and is still my first sport, the greatest game that God ever created.
“I signed for Tramore seniors when I was able to balance both codes as best I could, we were again extremely successful under the management of Billy Noonan, winning the senior league on a number of occasions and numerous intermediate and local cups as well.
“Great players here were Noel Hartigan Senior, Jim Leahy, Mattie Murphy, all a pleasure to play with, but the best I had the privilege to play with was Bryan McSweeney, an incredible player and a gent.
“My favourite memory from my playing days was definitely winning the youths cup in Athlone, an incredible performance from a fantastic squad, winning 3-0 on the day.
“I had the pleasure of playing against some great players along the way, but a player who was incredible was Alan Twohig from St Mary’s, a gifted footballer and a great lad too.”
Such was his love for the sport, McCarthy was always going to stay involved in the game in some capacity once retired.
Coaching was something always of interest, as he always showed leadership qualities, even as a player.
“When I packed up playing I decided to help out with Tramore by taking over the junior squad along with Greg Cleary from the previous manager George Jackson.
“Again we were lucky to inherit a very good squad and we went on to have some great success over the next number of years.
“When I finished with the juniors, I went back to help with the schoolboys' section within the club and along with Micky Sheehan and Colm Sheehan we took over our U10s and stayed with them until they reached the U15-U16 level.
“We reached the last eight of the U14 National Cup with that squad unlucky to lose out to Salthill Devon in Galway.
“From here I fell in with Der O’Callaghan and Ken Maye running the U17/ 18/19 for three years and again this was a great group to be involved with, a lot of these players are now playing with our Junior team.”
Currently the Tramore Athletic junior manager, Beagar, this season has instilled professionalism into the senior set-up in which he believes has been a key factor in the teams’ performances.
“In my current role with Tramore, alongside Shane Twomey, Stuart McTaggart, and Jerry Twomey we have had a fantastic year but it was brought to an abrupt end by Covid-19.
“We were 11 points clear and I am convinced that we would have won the league with a great squad of young and experienced players.
“My own two lads Conor and Andrew are in the squad, Conor was playing, but Andrew is in college in Waterford so he was in and out of the team due to college commitments.
“Our aim at the start of the season was to have a shot at promotion after last season’s disappointment of missing out in a play-off. We upped the intensity with 100% commitment expected from all players.
“The season went great, the young players like Sean Turner, Josh Burton, David Scott blended in well with the likes of David Collins, Stephen Dorney, and Shane Twomey.
“However, we were gutted to say the least that the season finished early.
“We had a very competitive league in our division, Glasheen, UCC, Mallow and Lakewood were all vying for promotion along with ourselves.
“Obviously, it would have been great to win promotion for the adult section of the club as the schoolboys are again doing well in their leagues.
“We hope to keep all of our squad and add to it where possible. I would love to go back up senior with this squad this year if possible, but that decision will be made by the club with obviously an input from the team management and more importantly the players.
“I know they would be more than good enough to hold their own up senior and as a club we need to be aiming to do this in the near future.
“Our aim is to put Tramore Athletic back where we all want the club to be, a successful club that players will be proud to play for.”