THE new Cork LGFA U14 inter-county manager JJ Deasy has selected players from every corner of the county ahead of the 2022 campaign.
The former Clonakilty LGFA senior manager has taken over the Cork U14s and has been busy organising a series of trials over the past number of months.
Some 320 players signed up the U14 trials before Deasy and his management team whittled down their final squad to 30. In all, 23 clubs are represented on this year’s panel.
The Cork new inter-county manager will be joined on the side-lines by Ioannis O’Connell (Glanmire), Siobhán Courtney (Castlehaven), Joe Larkin (Ballinora) and Female Liaison Office Siobhán Treacy (Glanmire).
Miriam O’Connell is Child Welfare Officer and the county board representative.
“We have been very busy during October, November and December with our trials process which attracted over 320 girls,” the Cork LGFA U14 manager told The Echo.
“We did our best to give every girl at least two trials to show what they could do. A number of follow-on trials were held before my management team and I settled on a final panel of 30."
Deasy and his new management team cast their net wide and selected a diverse group of young footballers.
Players representing each of the four divisions and a total of 23 clubs will make for a fresh Cork U14 setup in 2022.
“We have picked players from all over the county and there is a good spread on this year’s panel,” JJ Deasy added.
“North, South, East and West are well represented. We found the standard of footballers to be very high throughout the U14 trials process. There are some very exciting young footballers coming through.
“The Cork management team is really looking forward to coaching them over the next couple of months and seeing where the journey takes us.
“We were very, very impressed with the standard of players that trialled with us from all divisions. The fact 320 girls trialled was an eye-opener for someone like myself being involved in inter-county for the first time.
“There was a lot of organising involved but it was a good, fun, process and we got a lot of positive feedback from parents of the girls and even those who didn’t make the final panel.
“Those girls enjoyed the process we put in place and glad of the chance to show us what they could do.
“We are very pleased with the final panel that has been put together.”
The Ladies Football association has decided to stick with the usual U14 blitz format at provincial level for the coming season. Should Cork be successful, then JJ Deasy and his players will progress to an All-Ireland series which is split, depending on each county’s final provincial ranking into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze All-Ireland series.
Cork won last year’s Munster U14 championship but there was no All-Ireland series to progress on to after an LGFA decision not to run national knockout competitions due to Covid-19.
“All we can do at the moment is work with the plans we have put in place until Covid-19 restrictions prevent us from doing otherwise,” Deasy admitted.
“Our training days are all in place (for the coming year). Of course, we have it at the back of our minds about Covid and the fact, at any stage, everything could be brought to a complete stop.
“We know that. Cork LGFA will keep within our Covid guidelines and we will keep going as far as we can.
“Hopefully, and with a bit of luck, our competitions will be allowed continue even if tighter restrictions are announced over the next couple of weeks. We hope to keep the squad together and keep them going throughout January, February and March.”
The Cork U14 management team and panel have worked extremely hard to get to this point.
Let’s hope their efforts are rewarded and without interruption in 2022.
Laura Collins, Sarah O’Connor (both Ballincollig), Evelyn McCarthy, Niamh Elizabeth O’Mahony (both Bandon), Anna Lucey O’Sullivan (Banteer), Sky Fielding (Carrigaline), Ellen Connolly (Castlehaven), Róisín Duggan (Clonakilty), Katie Quinlan (Delaneys), Alice Mary Murphy (Donoughmore), Leanne O’Leary (Dromtarriffe), Clíodhna Aoife Higgins, Erin Katie Healy, Laura O’Mahony (all Éire Óg), Megan Barrett, Niamh Hartnett (both Erin's Own), Naoise Hegarty (Fermoy), Aoife Treacy (Glanmire), Ava Ashman (Inch Rovers), Grainne O’Neill (Kilshannig), Lily Collins (Kinsale), Clodagh Murray (Macroom), Anna O’Brien (Mallow), Éimear Walsh, Laura Walsh, Lauren Finnegan (all Mourneabbey), Amalie Curran (Nemo Rangers), Maeve O’Sullivan (O’Donovan Rossa), Theresa Dorgan (Rockbán), Autumn Devereaux (Youghal).