EAST Cork LGFA club Glanmire will be targeting promotion to the Cork senior ranks when on-field action resumes.
The East Cork club has one of the largest groups of underage ladies’ footballers in the county and fields numerous teams between U14 and adult level.
Brian Lotty is both president and chairman of Glanmire LGFA. Although there have been no games this year, the club is busily gearing up for a return.
“Glanmire fields teams at every age grade between U6 and senior,” Lotty said. “Our youngest teams are the U16, U7, U8, U9, and U10s. There are big numbers all the way up and Glanmire is probably the only Cork club that fields four U12 teams. We also have three U14 teams, two U16, and two minor teams as well.
“When football was last played, before Covid, the club also fielded at junior A, junior B, and intermediate level,” Lotty said. “Our third team would have reached a county final, but that still hasn’t been played, as we await the completion of the remaining semi-final.
"As of last October, Glanmire LGFA had 430 members and that wouldn’t necessarily have included all our U6 and U7s being registered at the time.”
Dealing with such a huge number of underage players requires a massive effort by the club’s coaches. Glanmire has met the growing demand for their underage academy, youth, and adult sides because it has a large coaching roster.
Thankfully, the club has approximately 70 mentors looking after all of our teams. That number of mentors is absolutely necessary for a club our size.
"I would have been vice-chairman for the previous year and a half, to Michael Hannon. Micheal stepped down early last year, after nine years in the role, and I took over as acting chairman.
“The club benefited hugely from Michael’s tenure and it is down to his dedicated efforts that our numbers have grown substantially during that time,” Lotty said.
“I was one of the founding members, back in 2000. Our inaugural AGM took place on February 11 of that year, where we elected Barbara Buckley as our founding chairperson. Our second chairperson Angela Fitzgerald.”
At adult level, Glanmire is an annual challenger for the Cork LGFA intermediate title. The 2020 championship saw the East Cork side begin as favourites and justify that tag with group victories over Clonakilty and Araglen Desmonds Buí. A convincing semi-final defeat of Donoughmore set up another meeting with Clonakilty, in the decider. Alas, the West Cork team upset the form book and claimed a 2-8-to-0-11 victory.
“It was very disappointing to lose the county final, having beaten Clonakilty in the round-robin phase, earlier in the competition,” Lotty said
“We didn’t perform up to our full potential that day. Yes, we were missing a few key players, but it didn’t work out. To be fair to Clonakilty, they grasped their opportunity. There is no doubt about it, but they were deserving winners, because they were the better team on the day.
“The same management team are in charge of the Glanmire intermediate team, once again, this year,” Lotty said. “They have been doing a lot of work and remained active throughout the lockdown, with Zoom sessions and individual programmes for all of our players.
"The level of engagement has been brilliant and the girls have had talks from different people, via Zoom as well.
“The players are absolutely intent on winning this year’s intermediate. They want to be a senior team for 2022. A lot of people favoured us to win last year’s championship, but it is a tough competition.
Glanmire is on the right path, though, having won the last three county minor A and U16 A championships. So, there is a group of girls in our club that has not been beaten in a championship game for some time.
“Our club’s aim is to get up to senior and take things from there once we have achieved that goal.” Few would bet against Glanmire gaining promotion to the Cork LGFA senior grade in 2021.