Beara ladies football club embracing the challenge 

Despite the difficulties in terms of location, Beara LGFA continues to produce talented young players
Beara ladies football club embracing the challenge 

Beara minor ladies footballers Laura Walsh, Tara Quirke, Emma Donaghue and Michealagh Murphy who helped their team defeat Ibane.

BEARA LGFA are building nicely at underage level with their recent success in the U18 West Cork league offering great encouragement for the club going forward.

Beara is a well-established club with numerous players featuring on various Cork teams over the years and much success garnered throughout their history. The club was in a transitional period in recent years due to emigration, but positivity has returned to the peninsula with underage success and growing numbers.

Kieran O’Shea who coaches several teams in the club said the club struggled to field in recent years due to emigration. 

"The ladies football club has been going for many years and the club has enjoyed a lot of success. We also have had many players representing Cork at all levels. Fielding has been tough in recent years as the population has been decimated in the region and often getting numbers to field a team was tough,” he said.

The playing numbers have improved however in recent years which is encouraging and they now field teams from U6 right up to the junior grade.

"It has improved in recent years which is very encouraging. There are good numbers at underage level. 

At minor level we have 25 girls from the age of 15 to 18. The club is in a good place both at underage and adult level. 

"There is a lot of good work going on right throughout the club." 

Beara ladies’ footballers play in several different GAA pitches in the division. O'Shea paid tribute to all the clubs who are ‘very obliging’ to deal with. 

ISOLATED

A recurring issue however is the problem getting referees to travel to their home games due to their isolated rural location.

"We can play on any pitch in the division. In fairness to the GAA clubs, if there isn’t a game on, we are given the pitch with no problem at all which is great. 

"All the clubs are very obliging. We could be playing in Allihies, or we could be playing in Glengarriff. 

"A big obstacle we face is our location in terms of playing challenge games or league games and getting teams down. 

"The biggest problem however both this year and last year is trying to get referees to travel and official at our home games because it is too far to travel. 

"In fairness to the Bantry and St Colum’s referees, they are very obliging." 

Beara club players Aine Terry O’Sullivan and Clare O’Shea who have represented the Cork senior team with great distinction in recent years are great role models to the next generation. 

Cork's Aine O'Sullivan hammers home her first goal against Waterford. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork's Aine O'Sullivan hammers home her first goal against Waterford. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

"Aine Terry O’Sullivan and Clare O’Shea are two recent examples of Beara players playing for Cork. They are great players and role models. Our young players would look up to them and take great heart from them playing and winning so much with Cork. 

There is plenty of football talent within our various teams. We have had several players who have played with several Cork teams at all grades recently.

"A lot of our players are also involved in the West Cork U13 and U15 development teams. It is great from a social perspective as they make new friends and it is also very beneficial in terms of them progressing as a footballer," he added.

O'Shea, who coaches the U15, U16, and the minor team, initially got involved in coaching when his daughter started playing underage football with Beara. 

"I got involved as my daughter started playing football when she was 10. I got involved as a way of helping out. 

"I enjoy it. We have a good few coaches at underage level which is encouraging. There is good coaching going on which is great.

"I was also involved with the Cork U14 football team this year. It was with the development team, which would be a second team for the U14 team. It was great to be involved. I learned so much. There are a lot of very talented players coming through for Cork at underage level."

MASSIVE

The Beara minor footballers defeated Ibane in the minor final which was played in Drimoleague recently. Kieran hailed his charges for a ‘massive’ victory for the region. 

"It was a big win for them and for the club. They won the U19 championship last year and we won the minor championship this year which is very promising. 

"They all played very well and ran out deserving winners. We got a great welcome home when we arrived back home with the cup. 

"There were massive celebrations. We had been training since last February and it was great to finish the season on a high." 

The victorious Beara minor ladies football panel who won the West Cork league title after they defeated Ibane
The victorious Beara minor ladies football panel who won the West Cork league title after they defeated Ibane

The Beara minor team now advances to a county series which will be played in November said the proud coach. 

"We will train away and do our best in the county series. The players are very enthusiastic. They are great to work with. They want to improve. 

"They are so committed. They have made great strides this year and hopefully, they will move up to the adult grade. 

"We are very mindful that when they turn 18 or 19 and start college players can give up playing so we must ensure that they keep enjoying their football and keep progressing on to the next level."

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