THERE is great excitement ahead of this year’s annual Tom Creedon Cup which is scheduled to start on Saturday, June 12.
There has been a good increase in the number of teams wishing to participate in this year’s Tom Creedon Cup.
Teams from across all the various grades have entered as they seek good competitive games ahead of the new championship season.
The Tom Creedon Cup will be played in a round-robin format with four groups of four teams each.
Teams are guaranteed three games with the top team from each group proceeding to the semi-final stages.
The final is due to be played on Saturday, August 7 in Macroom, the club with whom the late great Tom Creedon enjoyed so much success.
Macroom club secretary John Ryan is looking forward to the start of this year’s tournament.
“Clubs are looking for good competitive games and this tournament ticks all the boxes.
"Referees are appointed, the dates are set in stone and clubs will get three guaranteed good games ahead of the new championship season,” the club official said.
The Tom Creedon Cup which has been running since 1987 was traditionally played in the early months of the season, but following the new championship format in Cork, the organisers decided to rejig the concept of the cup, said John.
“It used to be played in January and February and often the pitches were understandably in poor condition. We were still getting good entries but we felt it was a challenge because of the bad weather and the bad pitches.
"This often led to lots of cancellations. This is a new venture for us, but we are excited about its potential going forward.
“With the help of the County Board we decided to reinvigorate the Tom Creedon Cup.
"The County Board was very helpful. We are very grateful to them. We came up with the idea of the group system with every team guaranteed three games.
"It is the first time we have senior teams competing.
"We have teams from all the grades in the county which will add significantly to it. We have three senior teams participating this year who we seeded accordingly.
"Macroom were the other seeded team as they are the host club. Avoiding repeat pairings from the club championship and the upcoming league cup was also vital to ensure freshness for the teams,” he added.
The Tom Creedon Cup was not held last year due to Covid-19, with 2019 the last year it was held.
Cill na Martra are the reigning champions after they defeated Knocknagree by a point following a thrilling final.
Tom Creedon is a name that is synonymous with Macroom and Cork GAA. His magnificent fielding and accurate kicking were much admired. He was also highly versatile as he could fill any position across the centre of the field.
Tom was a natural leader and he captained Macroom teams at all levels from underage to senior. He won a plethora of medals at underage level, while at adult level he won Muskerry Cup medals in 1981 and 1982.
He won an Intermediate football league medal in 1981, and he captained the Macroom team to win the Intermediate county in 1982.
He played his last championship game with Macroom against St Nick’s in May 1983, which Macroom won by five points.
His inter-county career stretched over a ten-year period. He won an All-Ireland medal with the Cork minor football team in 1972 alongside his two clubmates Leo Goold and Tim O’Sullivan. In 1974 he added a Munster U21 medal.
He played his first senior championship game against Clare in 1976. He played in nine Munster senior championship finals.
Tom’s ability was also recognised by the Munster senior footballers and he won a Railway Cup medal in 1981.
Tom also played with UCC and he was a member of the Combined Universities team in 1976.
also played with the Muskerry senior football team from 1978 to 1982.
His death in August 1983 robbed Macroom of one of its greatest ever players.
Macroom GAA is delighted to host the annual tournament in memory of the late great Tom Creedon, said their club secretary.
"It is a great privilege for the club to host this tournament. His family is also very appreciative. We also named a pitch after Tom. It is nice to honour and remember his legacy.”
This is John’s third year serving as a club secretary with Macroom GAA Club.
The former treasurer said he is enjoying his role.
“I was treasurer for five years before I became secretary. There is a lot of work to do, but it is nice to give back.
"I have made good friends and I enjoy it.”
The 34-year-old is also a well-known referee. John is a rising star on both the county and national circuit.
He is looking forward to the season ahead. “I refereed a few underage games and enjoyed it. It can be challenging, but if you didn’t like it you wouldn’t keep doing it. I have been on the national panel since last year so my next goal is to get up to the championship panel.
"You have to be very sharp with the rules constantly changing and you have to be very fit as the modern game is so fast. I am looking forward to the start of the season.”