Juvenile Teams Recap 2019

December 29th, 2019 | by St James GAA
Juvenile Teams Recap 2019
Club News

2019 was a fantastic year for the juvenile section of the club. The club achieved and received several significant trophies including U-9 Tormey League Shield, Darragh Frain Memorial Shield, U12 County B League title, U-13 County B League title and the U15 West Board league cup. In total 5 trophies obtained over the course of the year. The U-14 team reached the County championship final but were narrowly defeated by Kilconly. When looking at all the age groups in the juvenile section, one would have to say that serious work is being down from U6 right up to U16.

The St. James’ Academy is beginning to take life of its own and participation levels are the highest that they have ever been. It is refreshing to witness on a Saturday morning and would do you a world of good to watch the coaches train the kids. The nursery section which is run by Olga Murphy and her team of Emmett Lee, Aisling Carroll, John Ralph and Vincent David have put a lot of effort into their sessions and the manner in which they approach the
kids is exceptional to say the least. The U6 age group is a challenging task itself and children at this age have slight attention spans. Nonetheless, the coaches drills, which follow the coaching template designed for the club, keep the kids from going to A and B effectively. Hats off to the coaches and we look forward to 2020 but are aware that we need extra help as some coaches will move up to the U8 grade and players. Alan O’Donnell and his band of brothers have given an enormous amount energy to the U8 group. The amount of blitzes that was organized for the players was impressive to say the least. Alan and his team of Donal Murphy, Kevin Curran,Kevin Barrett, Derek Lynch, Shane Igoe, Brian Costello and Ciaran de Paor can be very happy with the progress made this season and their performances at blitzes have being impressive.

Furthermore, to conclude with the Academy a big thanks to Mike Murphy and his management team of Ciaran de Paor, Eamonn Dillon, Alan Corcoran, Eamonn O’Reilly and Eugene McHugh for all the hard work and efforts in 2019. The coaches organized a sufficient number of blitzes and competed at the Annual Darragh Frain tournament this year. The highlight of the year was traveling to Athlone to the Tormey League which was hosted by the Clann Na Gael club. An excellent tournament it was and James’ had 41 kids wearing the green and maroon. The coaches did an excellent job giving game time to all the kids and including the final. Days like this are to be cherished and will always be remembered. We are lucky to be in a position to be invited to these tournaments and long may it continue.

David Henry took on the U12 team at the start of the year and brought Philem Conway, Joe Kennedy, Eamonn O’Reilly, Liam Finnerty and Daniel King on board. It was a fantastic year, winning the County B League final against Oughterard back in June. The team competed in the City A League and had a lot of competitive games. The participation levels are quite high at this age group and every player received sufficient game time throughout the season. A winter program is now in process and is called Smart Movers. Philem Conway is spearheading this training initiative and the aim of this work is to enhance player development. The U13 team was managed by Johnny Regan, Brendan Flynn, Mike Mulhare, Stephen Diviney, Denise Shaughnessy and Tom Frain. On Friday July 26th the team defeated Oranmore/Maree in the U13 county league final and it was an excellent game of football. The jimmies managed to do enough on the evening to claim the cup. The excitement afterwards in Pearse Stadium was electric and it was great to see so many club members in attendance. The lads came down to the Academy the following morning with the cup and spoke to the younger players about the final and took their photos with all the young jimmies. This is what a club is all about, UNITY!

The same management team managed the U-14 team. It was a massive year for this team and the club. The National Féile came to Connacht and the club hosted 2 teams, one from Limerick – Knockainey and the other, St. Loman’s from Mullingar. An enormous amount of time and energy went into Féile. The club formed formed a Féile committee back in January and this included David Henry, Denise Shaughnessy, Mike Crowe, Mattie Harte, Aoife Concannon, Con O’Donovan, Una Kirton, Johnny Regan, Tom Frain and Brendan Flynn. The club acknowledge the committee for all their efforts and their input with fundraising events. Alot of people helped out that weekend including Olga Murphy, Terry O’Regan, Michael Acton, Daire Crowe and Martin Concannon who gave endless hours with setting up the pitches, flags, bunting etc. One of the best moments of Féile was the integration of your teams over the weekend. Players coming down from their host homes on the Saturday morning to the pitch was a lovely sight to see. The set up in Mervue was probably the best around the provenience. We provided excellent facilities for all teams, catering which was sponsored by Crowe’s Catering, First Aid, a PA system which provided updates of the games on the evening, a marquee, a St. James’ GAA/LGFA Féile Magazine, presentation of awards to hosting clubs and special guests which included Paul Conroy and the James’ senior ladies football team. All of these things contributed to the weekend and made it special for everyone. It was a weekend that will live long in the memory of many.

Keith Murphy’s U-15 team had another excellent year competing in A football. They captured the U-15 A West Board title in October defeating Killannin 5-8 to 3-7. An excellent display carried the day for the Jimmies. This team has a lot of ability and have won back to back titles, winning the U14 A championship title last year in Caherlistrane and now the U-15 West Board A title. They are currently working in the gym with S&C coach, Niall O’Toole. This work will certainly stand to them going into 2020. Well done to Keith Murphy, Michael Acton, Anthony Griffin, Declan Folan and Donal Kinsella for all their efforts and support in 2019, may it long continue. The U-16 team was also managed by the same mentors and the team competed in the A division. They were narrowly defeated in a few games and won more than they lost. Unfortunately they were knocked out of the championship on a cold, wet and windy evening out in Moycullen. The nucleus of the team was made up of U15 players. Apart from 6 players, the remainder of the team are U15.

The club looks forward to 2020 and celebrating 25 years in existing. The Juvenile awards night will take place at the end of January and on this night, the club will be acknowledging all the teams achievements from 2019.

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