KILLAVULLEN Ladies Football Club are planning to establish a junior football team for the first time in their history for the forthcoming playing season.
The club are experiencing a steady increase in playing numbers and hope to set up an adult team to cater for the demand. Club coach Niamh Buckley is optimistic they will establish a junior team.
“We have a strong underage section and we hope to set up a junior team,” said Niamh. “We have found that when our players finish playing minor football, they give up playing or they join other local clubs.
It is important there is a pathway for the players. We feel the onus is on us to provide an adult team and ensure all our players can play for their local club all the way up the grades."
Niamh formerly played underage football with Killavullen, but she joined Kildorrery after the U14 grade as her local team didn’t have the numbers to participate in higher grades. Niamh is now working hard to ensure the current underage players can advance through all the grades with their local club.
“We want them to keep playing. We want to give them the opportunity to keep developing while playing for Killavullen. We have very talented players coming through the ranks at present. We currently field from U6 up to minor level. It is important they can advance to adult football and represent their beloved local club.
“I am very passionate about this. I train the U12 players and I would love them to play the whole way up with Killavullen. We have great people driving the club on. I would love to see a junior team representing Killavullen. It would be a big step in the right direction.”
The response from the local community has been very positive. “We have a strong nucleus of players who played minor football this year who will automatically move up. We have also had strong interest from players who retired because there was no adult team who want to return. We also have former players keen to come back to improve their fitness levels and to maintain social contacts.
“We would be reasonably confident we will be fielding an adult team. We would be starting in the lowest grade. We are hoping this will usher in a new and exciting era for Killavullen Ladies Football Club.”
Niamh, who captained the Cork ladies to All-Ireland senior B glory in 2007, is thrilled ladies football continues to thrive. “That was a great time. I have very fond memories of that era. Cork ladies football is flying. The structures in Cork are great.”