PAT Barry has been appointed as the manager of the Bandon premier intermediate hurling team for the coming season.
The former Sarsfield player will be assisted by Na Piarsaigh club man Paudie Gould as a coach, while the selectors are Eoin Duggan, Andrew O’Connell, and Brian Mulcahy. Bandon GAA club chairperson Ian Doyle is pleased with the new management team.
“Our team manager for this year is Pat Barry. The coach will be Paudie Gould. They also have good people and club stalwarts lined up as selectors. It is a good lineup,” he said.
The club chairperson said relegation to the premier intermediate championship is ‘disappointing’ but the experience gained by their young players last year will prove beneficial this season.
“Being relegated back down in the hurling was disappointing. We blooded a lot of players last year so we are looking forward to seeing them in action again this season having had the benefit and experience of a year’s championship season under their belt.
"We have a good new management team in place for the hurlers. Some of the retired players have stepped up and gotten involved which is great to see.”
Colm Aherne will remain as manager of the Bandon senior A footballers for this year. Bandon defeated Béal Átha'n Ghaorthaidh, drew with O’Donovan Rossa, and were defeated by the Dohenys in last season’s championship campaign. Ian said there is ‘good optimism’ for the footballers ahead of their championship campaign this season.
“Colm Aherne remains in charge of the footballers. Aidan McCarthy does the coaching with him. Derek O’Driscoll and Jimmy Gabriel two club stalwarts will be assisting them. We did a good review of the season after it concluded to see what improvements can be made.
“We started the season all guns blazing and then it was cancelled, only to re-start again. It was stop-start which was frustrating. We wanted to blood new and young players last year, but the lack of league games didn’t help at all.
"Hopefully, there will be a full league programme this year which will be good preparation before the championship season. The footballers were drawn in a tough group, but they competed very well. We beat Ballingeary who made it out of the group. The margins are very small, but there is always room for improvement. There is good optimism ahead of this year,” he added.
During the course of last year, the Carbery divisional club carried out three big development projects on their club grounds in Charlie Hurley Park. The showers and toilets in their four dressing rooms received an overhaul as new toilets and showers all newly tiled were installed.
The progressive club also added a 2m extension to the ball stop net on their top pitch to ensure continued good relations with local residents, while new fencing was also installed around the perimeter of the main pitch.
Doyle said it is important the club keeps maintaining all aspects of their grounds and clubhouse.
“It is all about continuous improvement. It is vital to keep maintaining and upgrading all aspects of the pitches and the clubhouse. There are always jobs to be carried out in GAA clubs.
“It was important to keep the neighbours happy with the ball stop nets. We are always working away on general maintenance throughout the club grounds. We are doing a few things at the moment. We are carrying out repairs to the pitches this year.
"All going well the pitches will be in pristine condition for the start of the new season. We are adding on an extra dugout to the main pitch. We have to upgrade our fire alarms in line with health and safety regulations,” he added.
The chairperson praised the support they received from the locality for the Rebels’ Bounty initiative which has proved so successful since it was established last year. The money raised through this scheme has helped them to embark on many development projects.
“The finance we raised from the Rebel Bounty was a huge help. We always have great support from the locality which is very much appreciated by all within the club.
"People can see from all the projects we have undertaken and all the activities we have carried out in recent years that the money is going to good use. They can see where the money is being spent which is good.”
The club chairperson said the club is engaging in two new initiatives this year which will involve a lot of interaction and engagement with the local community.
"We are doing some new initiatives this year. We are going to do a Healthy Club which will be under the leadership of Paddy Duggan. We are also starting the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative. This is to promote young people aged between 15 and 18 to get involved in leadership projects in their community.
“It is important to play our part in the community and develop young people. We are always encouraging people to use our facilities. We have a fine hall and we want to bring the community into the club.
"We have lots of activities planned for both on and off the pitch. There is a great sense of spirit and unity within the club. There is a great buzz within the club. We have great numbers. We have a good committee doing great work driving the club on."