NEW Mayfield PRO Stephen Hackett found himself with the onerous task of also taking on the club’s drive for new members in the county board’s Rebels Bounty draw.
The previous incumbent Shane Walsh stepped aside after a sterling 28-year service leaving the 38-years-old hurler and footballer to first of all meet the €7k target to satisfy the board.
“Clubs were very nervous about the reformat of the draw with minimum ticket quotas, but the promotion by Cork GAA has been unbelievable,” Hackett said.
“And the work that’s being done by the clubs has resulted in an explosion in participants.
“I was a bit nervous taking it on, hoping for an increase of 20 or 30 tickets, but we’ve doubled the membership and it’s still growing.”
Mayfield reflect the trend with a significant increase on their 103 last season and heading for 250 and more with a projected profit of between €18-20k by the time the first draws take place next week.
“In terms of membership between families, adults and players we’ve about 300 all told and there is a separate under-age section which is thriving.
“The message is getting out to the rest of the community and I have to give a big ‘thumbs up’ to the people because they are super supporters of the club.
“There is a massive connection between the people of the parish and the GAA club which is something you see right across the country.
“It means people have some place to turn to in case they need a hand with anything.
“Part of my role is also updating player profiles and one of the questions I ask is what does Mayfield GAA mean to you?
“You can almost hear the emotion in their voices and it’s quite palpable.
“You simply can’t put a price on what a GAA club does for its community.
“Sean Lucey, one of our stalwarts, who helps out around the club every day, summed it up, when he said ‘it’s the first thing I think of in the morning and last before I go to bed.’
“The world has gone online since the Pandemic and we’ve used the power of social media to get the message out.
“I’m blown away by the support we’re getting from the people of Mayfield and to be honest it’s a bit overwhelming.”
Club ‘greats’ like chairman Seanie McCarthy and Tony Hegarty are helping to drive on sales at a time, when knocking on doors isn’t an option.
“Social media has been massive with a lot more traffic on our Twitter account and we’re encouraging people on buy on-line.”
In conjunction with Rebels Bounty, Mayfield are also running an internal draw for those who’ve signed up with €100 a month and €400 at Christmas just to guarantee local winners.
“There are over 20,000 members in the county board draw and that makes it even more difficult to win. It’s just giving something back.”
Mayfield also tapped into ex pats around the world in far-flung places likes Australia, US, Canada and Dubai and closer to home in the UK. “In fairness they jumped at the chance to support the club.”
Mayfield operate at intermediate hurling level and while they lost the relegation decider to Glanmire in football there’s a cloud of uncertainty hanging over this season’s shape.
“I’m not sure where we stand in that at the moment because there’s a backlog of games in the junior championship from last year.
“That’s particularly true in some of the divisions, whose competitions haven’t finished and so still have to get to the quarter-final stages of the county. It’s going to be a fixtures’ headache.
“We have two adult teams in both codes, along with U21, minor and right down through the various age groups.
“Neil Crean and the juvenile committee have been doing unbelievable work in the last five years and winning the All-Ireland junior hurling title in 2017 has encourage more kids to come along.”
It’s a hectic time for the Irish Rail Business Development Manager for Cork and Kerry whose wife Rachel delivered their first child, Oscar, last summer.