I welcome you all to our 28th Annual Convention here in the home of the County Champions Geraldines.
It was a strange and challenging year in many ways because of the ongoing COVID situation and I once again commend all our members at all levels with how they handled the situation.
On the field games are now at an end and here I wish to thank the fixtures committee for the work that they put in.
It’s been a very good year generally for County Teams and their management,particularly at under 16 who won the Leinster title guided by Bryan Lynch and his management team.At u18 level we reached the Minor decider under Martin Duffy and just fell short on the night.Our Adult team under Wayne Freeman,winning the NFL and finally gaining promotion from Div 4 was a great lift to the county.I still maintain that the NFL should be a full meaningful competition,and we have submitted an alternative calendar to Central Council and a decision will be made tonight at Central Council,at their meeting on what the plan is for 2022.We had a good run in the championship and could possibly have got out of the group had things gone our way,but at least we retained our status.Our u14’s guided by Julie Fitzpatrick were in a very strong group and struggled against superior opposition.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be putting underage management teams in place for the season ahead.
At club level we had a very good season,with a good quality of football being played around the county.However the season was completed over the weekend with the Minor Finals being played. Ì congratulate all those who won their respective finals to date.We restructured our games this year with no underage leagues taking place,and instead we had a regarding system put in place which will help us sort out groupings for next year also.However the level of noise and bad language being used along the line particularly during these finals is disturbing and has to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
This year saw the CODA group faced with various problems/issues come before them.
This is a very unsatisfactory situation and must be addressed by the clubs.(See Separate report).Amanda Lane has held this group together for the past three years and unfortunately she is stepping down from that role.
I wish to thank her and her group for the amount of time and effort they put in to what is not a glamorous or popular position.
But one thing we must realise is if we don’t have CODA Group in place our county will not be allowed to function.So I will be actively seeking a replacement for Amanda and also looking to add a few more bodies to what is already an overworked group of people.
Referees is an area of concern whereby we have to seriously look at recruiting referees to take charge of our games in the coming year.We have a motion in tonight which in my opinion if it were to be passed,will cause major problems in getting a lot of games played.
I will explain this in detail at motion stage.
This is an annual situation,but this year we really need to up the recruitment campaign.
Here again Clubs are going to have to look at themselves and see what they are doing to get new referees. We have quite a few clubs with no referees at all and those are the ones that need to step up to the plate.In peak season with GAA games and our own LGFA games it’s a struggle to get games played,and only for assistance from a few referees in Down this year we would have had serious difficulty.I congratulate those who got finals and acquitted themselves well.I also wish to mention our current underage referee Shauna Gorman
I wish to thank all our sub committees who worked well over the year.
The Fixtures committee especially with Chairman Pat Carr and Secretary Angela O’Neill definitely worked very hard on a sometimes hourly basis.
I wish to thank all our sponsors over the past year,especially our County Team Sponsors Blackstone Motors ,and all at underage as well as The Monasterboice Inn (u14) Ferdia Home Value (u16) Dundalk Credit Union (u18) and of course DEFY who are our kit supplier.
Sponsorship comes in many forms,and here we thank Jenkinstown Pharmacy(First Aid Supplies)Global Tiles & Bathrooms (Team Wear).
Halpenny Travel (Senior C’Ship)Hollywood Development (Intermediate C’Ship) Watters Of Collon (Junior C’Ship).
Dundalk Credit Union & DKIT:
This year saw a a partnership of Louth LGFA/Dundalk Credit Union & DKIT where scholarships were awarded to a number of players from local clubs.I wish to thank all involved who made this possible.
I must say again a big thank you to all my fellow officers and volunteers who looked after gates etc,and to all the clubs who made their facilities available for meetings and games.
I also thank you the clubs for giving me and the outgoing officers a further vote of confidence as we enter 2022.
I also include the media and PRO Martina Nolan,for their coverage of our games, coverage and attended most of our games over the year,and LMFM for their coverage also. I cannot finish without saying a big thank you to our resident photographer’s Warren Matthews & Craic a Smile Photography ,who does Trojan work promoting our games with action shots on Social Media as well as The Local Press.
It would be my intention going into 2022 to review the past year and continue to improve yet again where we left off.
We can’t afford to sit back and wait for things to happen,for instance over the past few years we have built on the work of our precedessors especially in the area of PR (and thanks to Anthony O’Connor for maintining our Website),we are using Foireann/Formerly Servasport For Fixtures and Results. We are getting great exposure in the Local Press and Social Media. LGFA is a growing sport across the county and collectively we can build on that.
As you can see I am striving to improve us as a Co Board at every given opportunity,and I have Sub Committees ready to begin work as soon as this meeting is over.
We need strong and vibrant people involved to make LGFA in this county as strong as possible.Our review committee is still meeting and monitoring how the season is progressing,and although the season just gone was not ideal the way COVID was going.We still tried to improve things as we went along.Perhaps next year will be better.
As you will know from our last Co Board meeting Pat Carr is stepping away from Executive level,and I’m sure you will join with me in wishing him well and thanking him for his diligent work on our behalf when representing us outside of the county.He is not gone from us entirely as he will still be assisting the Co Manager and he is also willing to remain on the fixtures committee.
I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy And Enjoyable Christmas,and a very Happy and Sporting New Year,and above all Stay Safe.