MSL: Getting the best out of local talent is primary focus for Leeside

Coaching staff Thomas, Richard, and John Gettings, along with club stalwart Shane Carry, are looking forward to the new season in Little Island
MSL: Getting the best out of local talent is primary focus for Leeside

Leeside defender Kallum Long makes a clearance up the left wing against Castleview last season. Picture: Larry Cummins.

IT will be very much a family affair in the Leeside senior management team as the countdown to the new Munster Senior League season continues.

The Gettings brothers from Little Island will backbone the coaching staff for the Beamish Stout Senior First Division outfit for the upcoming campaign.

Thomas, Richard, and John Gettings, along with club stalwart Shane Carry, are looking forward to the new season.

The club has amalgamated last year’s junior and senior team in a bid to compete for promotion to the premier division.

Manager Thomas Gettings said having a strong local contingent will be key to the side’s success.

“While it would be ideal to have a junior and a senior side, we as a club believe having one strong team would be best going forward and thankfully it has proven to be a success throughout pre-season.

“The tempo has increased, competition is more fierce which results in lads training harder. This tempo will hopefully prepare us for the first game of the season, which everyone is looking forward to.”

Leeside defender Richard Gettings in action in the air. Picture: Larry Cummins,
Leeside defender Richard Gettings in action in the air. Picture: Larry Cummins,

The Gettings brothers have made the step up to senior level having managed the junior side last season. After the club’s decision to amalgamate their adult teams, the new management team took over from Mick Deasy and Davey Ryan, who did a great job in keeping the team in the first division.

It will be a big challenge with Leeside having lost a few players from last season, however, Thomas is confident that the team they have assembled can do well.

“A lot of older players have moved on; it’s always difficult when you lose players, especially experienced players who are very familiar with the league and its competitiveness.

“However we, as management, feel we have done well to replace these lads and we are confident going into the season.

YOUTHFUL

“We have a very young team, but we have some bright prospects for the future. Micheal Delargey, Alex Browne, Alex Cristenau, and Ben Keenan are some of the lads who will be key for us.

“Our aim is to instill a real commitment and dedication to training. Players like Donal McCann, Alan O’Mahony, Richard Hyde, Dylan Stansfield, and Conor Cronin will help lead the way in this regard.

“Former players Gary Mooney, Caolan Callaghan, Alex Delea, Jack McCarthy, and Chris Zlotnik have been brought back into the fold and this is great news for the club.

“I believe we have a great blend of youth and experience now.

“Indeed, looking at some of the names on the roster, it will seem like a Leeside team from yesteryear, with names like Horgan, O’Mahony, Mooney, Delea, and Gettings and we hope to have a team the parish can get behind and be proud of once again.”

Leeside's Tom Gettings and Macroom's Timmy Corcoran battle for the ball in the AUL game in Little Island.Pic:Newspics
Leeside's Tom Gettings and Macroom's Timmy Corcoran battle for the ball in the AUL game in Little Island.Pic:Newspics

This year’s management team has given great service to Leeside. Thomas, Richard, and Shane Carry have played for the club for over two decades each, with both Thomas and Richard having won AOH Cup medals and a Munster Junior Cup medal.

Carry is still known to dust off the boots every now and then.

However, Thomas was quick to say: “If either of us three have to tog out this year then we will have gone seriously wrong somewhere!”

Leeside striker Ricky Gettings tries to keep the ball in play as Alan Kenneally closes in. Picture: Billy Lyons
Leeside striker Ricky Gettings tries to keep the ball in play as Alan Kenneally closes in. Picture: Billy Lyons

John brings the experience of having managed Leeside schoolboys/schoolgirls/youths/juniors in the past and his knowledge of the game is something that Thomas hopes will be key for the season.

“John has a vast knowledge of the game, both on and off the pitch, and he will be a valuable asset to our coaching staff.

"All the lads involved are passionate about the game and, more importantly, about our club. We all have the same focus, and pre-season has been going really well, and we are all very eager to start the season.

“We know how tough the First Division is and we are under no illusions about how much of a challenge it might be, but it’s our job as coaches to prepare the lads as best we can and to develop this young side to give our academy players at the club a pathway to reach.”

There is some very exciting work being done behind the scenes at the club.

“With the announcement of a new full-size astro facility and academy numbers are growing every year and they are being headed by some fantastic coaches which will benefit the senior team in time.

The schoolboys and schoolgirls sections have been very successful and we want to see that success filter through to the senior team.

“It may not happen overnight, but with the U19, youths and U17 in good shape we hope it’s only a matter of time before we get playing in the top tier of senior football in Cork.

“It’s an aim which all of us will be working very hard to achieve.”

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