Killeagh making strides through strong underage section

Some key appointments, including Eoin Cadogan and Tracey Kennedy, have put the East Cork club in a good position explains new chairman Ger Scully
Killeagh making strides through strong underage section

Killeagh's James Fogarty holds onto the sliotar despite the challenge from Fr O'Neill's Joe Millerick during the SAHC match in Youghal. Picture: Howard Crowdy

IN Killeagh GAA Club, there is a nice mix of new and familiar faces ready to meet the challenges ahead on and off the field in 2022.

Former Cork senior dual star Eoin Cadogan is now resident in the area and has just come on board with the club’s senior hurlers.

The team had made definite progress this year under Brian Barry, who had taken over in January. After baptising a few of the club’s young stars in the Senior A championship, there is a feeling that the men in green are certainly on the right path under Brian’s stewardship.

Off the field, Ger Scully has recently been installed as the club’s new chairperson, while former Cork GAA chairperson Tracey Kennedy takes over the vice-chair role.

Well-known as a referee, Ger has been steeped in all things Killeagh GAA since his earliest years. His father David ‘Junior’ Scully is one of those irreplaceable individuals whose love of his locality can’t but inspire those who work and live around him. 

Even though he never set out to be the club’s chairman, there was almost always a sense that Ger would be led to this role after his brother Kieran held a similar position prior to Padraig McGrath’s and Colman Motherway’s tenure.

Ger is very much aware of the superb people that are involved in his beloved club at all levels.

“It’s not a role that I would have thought about or actively looked for” says Ger.

I suppose growing up I had a great experience playing hurling and football. It’s really all about playing but you realise that somebody has to do the administration side too. 

"Being honest, you can’t be asking other people to do the job, if you are not prepared to do it yourself. I’m taking this role with a heart and a half. I had my time playing, looking after teams and refereeing. Now is the time for this role, when I still have energy and enthusiasm.”

EXPANDING

Killeagh is now a vastly busier club than in Ger’s playing days. They have stepped up the grades, gained many new players and have embarked on many developments at Pairc Uí Chinnéide.

“We were junior when I was growing up. Currently, we have a lot more players at adult and juvenile level and of course also now include camogie and ladies’ football teams. I’m there to help the people within the club to achieve their ambitions.

“There are so many very good people within our structure that I can turn to for a word of advice. I feel that we are trying to look after all the teams and groups.

Killeagh's Dylan Horgan tackling Edmund Kenneally, Newcestown, in last season's SAHC. Picture: Denis Boyle
Killeagh's Dylan Horgan tackling Edmund Kenneally, Newcestown, in last season's SAHC. Picture: Denis Boyle

“We are very much a club for the community. There Is great unity within our structure. We aim to keep that communication and openness which was there under my predecessors Colman (Motherway) Padraig (McGrath) and Kieran (Scully). We all want to work together for the betterment of the parish.

Ambition has always burnt brightly for club developments. Ger says that the great ‘Danno’ Kennedy and John Fitzgerald are among those that have inspired the current excellent facilities enjoyed by today’s generation.

“All we want to do is to continue that rate of progress and leave the club in an even better place to what we got it in. As a committee, we just want to help what has gone before. Every fundraiser helps and builds up.

“The Rebels’ Bounty will see another big push in January, then we have our weekly lotto, our road race in March and of course the Golf Classic. Realistically, we hope to add another fundraiser in 2022, as the last few years have seen restrictions due to Covid. Overall, there is great goodwill in the parish which is seen regularly by the support we get.

The Killeagh team celebrate after defeating Éire Óg in the Rebel Óg U16 Premier 2B hurling final at Bishopstown.
The Killeagh team celebrate after defeating Éire Óg in the Rebel Óg U16 Premier 2B hurling final at Bishopstown.

“On the field of play, hopefully, we can build on the progress we made in 2021. There was a big push made and the players really bought into it. The team were very unlucky in the last game against Newcestown. But, we can’t stand still now, it’s a case of pushing on again. 

Clubs are only as strong as their underage and thankfully Killeagh did really well at U13 and U15 Premier level. If you don’t have a base you won’t progress.

“A lot of former players are now putting a lot of work back into the club”, which is really encouraging,” he said.

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