CLANN NA nGael ladies football club is currently riding high on the crest of a wave.
Their junior ladies recently won the County Junior League Division 9 final following their win against Youghal in Trabeg. Ladies football within the club is thriving as they boast a growing membership, at both adult and underage level, and a very strong adult team who are nicely poised to enjoy more success going forward.
Their junior footballers won the deferred 2020 league final in blistering fashion recently.
They secured the county title on a final scoreline of 6-7 to 1-8 following a great team performance. Fiona Coakley, sisters Roisin and Katie O’Driscoll netted goals in the first half.
Julie Ann Hayes, Grainne McCarthy, and Roisin O’Donovan were on target for a rampant Scorchers outfit in the second half.
Team captain Gráinne McCarthy captained the team to county glory. This game also doubled up as a 2020 county championship semi-final game, following the suspension of this championship last year due to Covid restrictions.
This victory now ensures Clann na nGael will play Glanmire in the deferred 2020 championship final.
Clann na nGael club secretary Brian Deane said the ladies footballers have brought great enthusiasm to the GAA Club.
“The panel and management team can take a lot of credit for this recent performance as they face into the 2021 championship.
"The future is bright for the ladies club if we can get more people involved in the coaching and administration of the ladies club, to back up the super efforts being put in by the players on the field,” he said.
The club official believes the club’s decision to sign up to the One Club model which strives to promote one brand and one message for the club has proved very beneficial.
“The success of the ladies junior team has been a very welcome boost to the club this year. As someone who lived abroad and left at a time when there was a very small ladies club separate from the men's, it makes me proud to see the ladies football teams as such a central part of the club's identity.
"The club is benefitting from signing up to the One Club model. We are certainly a stronger club when we have more people involved in playing and running the club.”
The various ladies football teams in the club are guided by a number of stalwart club personnel who are intent on lending their expertise to ensure the players continue to develop their skills.
The club secretary is full of praise for the various club coaches who are guiding the fortunes of the many teams in the club.
“We as a club are so grateful to the many coaches, parents, and volunteers for their time and commitment.
"Sean Keohane worked with every team from U10 to U16 level, which was a huge commitment. Gerald O'Brien looked after the U6 and U8 girls teams with great support from many parents, while Donna Wilson managed at U10 and U12 level.
"Andrea Lordan, Denis Collins, and Gemma O'Driscoll assisted at U14 level, while Helen McCarthy helped as the Covid officer across many of the ladies' teams. There are several others who also helped out throughout the year when required.”
No date has yet been arranged for the deferred 2020 junior championship final against Glanmire.
The club secretary admitted they are finding it difficult to reach a compromise with their opponents who have a busy schedule in both codes to fulfill before they can play this much-anticipated county final.
“The challenge of completing this season's fixtures is also a factor in finding the time to complete the 2020 junior championship. With a number of players on the junior team away in third-level education, it is difficult to find times outside of weekends for this match to be arranged.
"Glanmire also have a packed schedule at intermediate, junior and underage levels, as well as commitments with Sarsfields camogie so the 2020 county final may not be played until the 2021 competitions are completed.”
Clann na nGael similar to many other clubs always face challenges with regards to maintaining players during their teenage years.
Deane said the club coaches deserve great praise for ensuring so many players continued to line out for their respective underage teams.
"The efforts to get all of these underage teams out were huge, as this was done with the involvement of a few volunteers. We were very hopeful of having our first ever U21 team in action this year but the competition was cancelled unfortunately.
"We hope to have an U21 blitz day at the end of the year and we are working with the County Development Officer to make that happen.
“It would be great to see further options for our various teams who have smaller panel numbers to play games against clubs at a similar level within the county.
"At U16 level, the team managed to complete a season at 15-a-side. The Scorcher U14 team made the semi-final of the league, while our U12 girls also made a competition semi-final which was a great achievement.
"Our U8 and U10 girls also took part in several blitzes during the year and the numbers involved were encouraging,” he added.