Secretary's Report - AGM 2015
Unfortunately, 2015 was not a very prosperous year for our senior team. We did, however, reach the quarter final stage of the County Championship, where we lost out to Kenmare District in Kenmare. We played West Kerry in the 1st round of the championship in an enthralling game, where it took until extra time to separate the two sides. With the new layout of the county championship taking precedence in recent weeks, it now meant clubs would face relegation battles to remain as a senior club. In Round 1 of the competition we were defeated by a much fancied Kerins O’Rahillys side. In Rd 2 we faced Ardfert, with the losers Ardfert being relegated to intermediate football. We now face Austin Stacks in the final rd which took place today with the losers being relegated to intermediate. (We were defeated by Austin Stacks in the final playoff and will not compete in Senior Championship next year)
In the club championship we were defeated in the 1st round by Ardfert in Ardfert. Our Co. League division 2 status is also hanging by a knife edge with the final rd. 11 game still to be played in the division. At the present we are hoping for other results to go in our favour which may assist us in retaining our division 2 status. Depending on other results there is a possibility that we may face a relegation playoff. This would be dependant on the result from the last game in the division between Templenoe and Genneveguilla. (Templenoe’s defeat of Gneeveguilla saw Laune Rangers remain in Division Two)
Our Mid Kerry Championship hit the ground running with a home win over Beaufort which has ensured that we progressed to the next round. Conditions were not favourable on any one of the two teams on this occasion but the Rangers came out the better for this result. They then faced Milltown/Castlemaine in the semi-final and after a hard fought game we lost out to them.
This was a year of mixed fortunes for the junior team as many players were participating in training with the senior team and some were fortunate enough later in the year to be selected on the senior team.
Unfortunately, the Junior season came to an abrupt end in a year where they had developed tremendously as a team. The team participated in the Molyneaux cup where unfortunately a walkover had to be given to Dr. Crokes due to a misjudged error on the part of the management, when a lot of the players were unavailable due to college commitments.
The County Junior League was the first competition that they participated in, and on a few occasions they struggled to field a team but this issue soon resolved itself and the team began participating well in the competitions. When we were at full strength, we had trojan matches and were unlucky to miss out on a few occasions.
It was not until the Mid Kerry League when the team fully bonded and came together to win the plaque. They had faced Glenbeigh/Glencar in the final in Cromane. All the work that the team had put into training had finally paid off and it was with great pleasure that Pa Sheehan accepted the cup on behalf of the team. The O’Sullivan cup was also played in the same week as the final and the boys had not fully recovered from the game a few evenings previous and lost out in the 1st round.
Our under 21s had a bad start to the season with a loss in the first round of the mid Kerry championship but this was due to the fact that the team had not played together and had very little training done, as it was the very start of the year when this game was played. In the County Championship, we gave a most improved performance but unfortunately we fell short of the line to a stronger John Mitchels side. We held our own in the Club championship but we came up against a much fancied and favoured Spa side that ran out deserved winners on the evening. The benefit to this under 21 team was that it was their first year together and 90% of this team are again eligible to play under 21 again next year, and I have no doubt that they will learn from their mistakes of the year just gone and will without a doubt build, regroup and come back stronger.
Our minor team this year are having a great year, where I want to wish them the best of luck in the Mid Kerry Championship final tomorrow against Milltown/Castlemaine in Beaufort (This game was deferred until December 19th). In the previous rounds, they beat Beaufort at home in the semi-final which the boys must be commended for playing after the storm had hampered many of the other games.
The start of the year turned out to be a bit of an up and down start where they were winning and losing games but this was going to stand to the lads when they went to play in the Central Region Division one games. Here the boys really proved themselves where they managed to go to the semi-final but were defeated by a stronger Dingle team. It is great for the boys to have so many competitive games as similar to our under 21s a lot of this minor team will be playing together again next year and it can only mean better things to come.
Overall it was a year of mixed fortune for the teams with spurts throughout the year where teams developed and lost out on tight margins in certain circumstances. Overall the development of the junior team assisted with the senior teams as it allowed for people to compete for places on the team. Our underage structure is supporting our teams very well and if the players can be retained there is sure to be some good times in the future for the senior teams. Unfortunately this year in many respects was not a year for our senior team but I think a well deserved rest may be what the team needs to allow them to come back refreshed in the New Year. The seniors are waiting on a co. league result from this weekend to work in their favour to retain their status in Division 2 which turned out to be a very competitive group this year. The Mid Kerry championship must be put back up to the top of the list again for next year and hopefully reach and maybe even win the championship with the influx of some of the minor players that are coming up.
Our Under 21 and Minor teams were both very competitive and maybe if the Under 21s had regrouped sooner, it may have been a different story for mid Kerry. The County Championship turned out to be a game of mixed fortunes as it took place when some of the lads were away on holidays but we still put up a worthy performance and like previously stated the majority of this team will be eligible next year to play in this grade again. The minors have progressed nicely throughout the year reaching both semi-finals and finals in many games. It was great to see the development in minor games in comparison to last year where they had very few competitive games. The minors will be playing in the mid Kerry championship final tomorrow and I wish them the very best of luck in that.
On behalf of the club we would like to thank all of the trainers for the tremendous efforts and time that they have put into training all of our teams throughout the year. This ranges from our underage teams to minor, Under 21, Junior and Senior teams. Also to the selectors, who too are giving of their time and are willing to do what they can for the betterment of the club and for the development of each of the teams. Therefore, thank you very much. I would like to thank especially Liam Hassett for his commitment in training our senior team over the past 2years. We wish him all the very best in his new role as a selector on the Kerry team.
Management teams and assistants 2015
This year the club had 9 club meetings and 4 executive meetings with an average attendance of 15 at each meeting. The club has a number of sub committees which meet on a regular basis.
Membership is slightly down on last year from 463 full membership to 416 and our youth membership is slightly down too from 541 to 502 this is due to many people who have not played football since they were registered at under 8 level being hibernated and this is now giving a more realistic picture of the members who have paid membership in the club. Our youth membership is showing very positive signs and it is great to see the retention of people at the underage structures. Credit is due to both our registrars of Mary Gallagher and Tim Cronin who gave of their time to ensure that all of our teams are registered and it is very much appreciated by everyone.
The finance committee worked tirelessly again this year in order to maintain a positive financial position in the club. This is done under the watchful eyes of Aidan Gannon and Ger O’Sullivan. Both of the lads put in a lot of effort throughout the year to ensure all the bills are paid and I know the job of the treasurer is not the easiest of tasks to be completing and both Aidan and Ger have to be commended on the work that they do. Aidan and Ger will go through the finances and give more definite figures as to our income and expenditure for the year. The finance committee under the stewardship of Ger Counihan work hard throughout the year to ensure that there is a steady flow of income into the club and without this the club would without a doubt be running at a loss. The major event for 2015 was the Night at the dogs held in the Greyhound Stadium in Tralee in July. This was a major fundraiser for the club and not only that it was a thoroughly enjoyable night for all who attended. It must be commended all the time and effort that went into the organising of such event and a word of thanks to all who helped in any way. The lotto on a Sunday night still continues and is another great source of income for the club and thanks to John Foley who continues to do the work here on a Sunday night. Again like many of the other sub-committees in the club if you have even a half hour to spare and would be willing to get involved in the fundraising of an event even if it was just the one event it would be greatly appreciated.
Field and Development
I would like to thank John Quirke for all of the work that he has put into both pitches especially in Cloon where during the summer he removed the area that was covered in briars and nettles below the bottom goals and for clearing more ditches there also. Also thanks to the FÁS workers Danny Healy, Mike O’Shea and Paul Costello for all of their hard work during the year. Without this work being carried out all through the year from John Quirke and the men the pitch would not be in as good condition as what it is in now. There was training taking place on the under 12 pitch in the Track which meant that at times during the year this saved the main pitch from damage. I am sure under the stewardship of John Quirke there will be further work carried out on our pitches in order to maintain them to the condition that they are in at present.
Well done to Aidan Clifford for all the hard work that he has put into the P.R.O side of the club and in attending and reporting on the matches. His reporting on matches is always a fair and unbiased report which gives an account of what has happened at the game for anyone that is unable to attend. Aidan tries to give a summary of all the games from senior right down to Bord Na nÓg mens and ladies. As always Aidan tries to make as many of the matches as he possibly can but he can’t so this on his own and he is always looking for help, so anyone that may be interested in helping it would be greatly appreciated.
Bord Na nÓg
In 2015 the Bord Na nÓg had a new chairman in John Clifford who was assisted by the Secretary Paudie Lynch. Great credit must be given to both men as it is not an easy task in organising matches, referees and so many young players and the two men gave all that they could to ensure the smooth sailing at this level. Many of the underage teams topped there divisions while some were unfortunate to just fall short on the final hurdle. There were some great games played at Mid Kerry with more than one cup crossing over the Laune back to Killorglin again. Great credit must be given to the underage coaches for this. There was also a coaching committee and by all accounts they had another successful year and there was some great work done by them.
I want to say congratulations and commiserations to Peter Crowley who again, with the Kerry team, reached an All Ireland final. Unfortunately, Dublin did turn out to be the stronger team on the day. On a personal note, I would like to wish Peter a speedy recovery with his shoulder injury and we hope to see you back in the green and gold of Kerry but more importantly the Blue and White of Laune Rangers in the very near future again.
Also Congratulations to our neighbour Donnchadh Walsh who finally and deservedly received his All Star Award.
I want to say a big thank you to all of my fellow officers who have put so much of their time into the smooth running of this club. As this was my first year as secretary I especially want to thank everyone for the help and guidance that they have given me as I know at times I was a bit of a nuisance. The officers work so diligently in their positions and each work to the best of their abilities especially with the size of a club like Laune Rangers. To Ger O’Sullivan, who is stepping down from his position, I want to wish him the very best of luck and I hope this will not be the last we see of him being involved in the club. To the new officer Brian Kissane, who is to be appointed I want to wish you all the best of luck in your new role. To all the officers that are remaining I wish you the very best for 2016 and I have no doubt you will give 100% in your efforts to the club.
Overall the club is running efficiently but this is only from the help of all of the people who volunteer and give of their time so freely. I would like to thank each of my fellow officers who have helped me throughout the year as it was my first year taking the reins and I very much appreciated it. I would like to say a special thanks to Terence Houlihan and Declan Falvey as, when I was having difficulty they had no trouble in helping and meeting me and guiding me in the right direction. I also want to say a thanks to my family as there were times during the year where they wouldn’t see me from one end of the day to the next, and for putting up with all my organising and running and racing. Earlier in the year we got all of our first aid boxes and bags kitted out and I would like to thank Joseph Crowley and Diarmuid O’Sullivan for doing this for us. Without all the help from not only the trainers but the members of the community the club would not be run as efficiently and as well as it is. That is why it is essential in the years to come that this co-operation from both the club and the community continues to thrive and prosper. I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and I hope to see you all back on the sidelines of football matches and all the very best for 2016.
Lisa Ní Bhraonáin,