As 2010 draws to a close, Clare Coaching and Games wishes to thank everybody who helped out in the running of the various activities that have taken place this year. Due to the amount of help and cooperation that we have received it will not be possible to name everybody individually in this report, but we would like to acknowledge the great support that we have received from all clubs members, club officers, urban board officers, bord na nóg iomaint/peil officers and county board personnel this year. This report will give a rundown on all the various projects that we have been involved in. This year has seen our activities grow with a lot of new projects and structures being put in place, and the activities available to our young players has also increased. This year the coaching and games has been overseen by Coaching Officer Eamon Fennessy, County Games Development manger Seán Chaplin and the Games Development Administrators John Enright, Peter Casey and Ronan Keane. The following is a rundown of our year’s activities.
Go Games Blitzes.
In both Hurling and Gaelic Football Go Games blitzes were organised for U8, U10 and U12 players. In total in hurling 2,290 kids participated in the U12 blitzes of which there was 5 outings, 3,415 kids participated in the U10 blitzes of which there was 6 U10 and 2 U9 get together’s organised and at U8 level 2,487 kids participated in the blitzes of which there was 5 U8 and 2 U7 weekend’s of activity. In Gaelic Football at U12 level 677 boys participated in the blitzes of which there was 6 weekends organised, at U10 level 1,304 boys participated in the 6 get together’s that were organised and 2,611 boys participated in the U8 blitzes of which there was 6 weekends organised. In total throughout the county 233 individual blitzes were hosted this year.
Croke Park Activity Day.
This year 10 new clubs got the opportunity to participate in the annual Croke Park activity day for U12’s. The day includes a stadium, dressing room and museum tour but the highlight for all is always getting the opportunity to show case their skills of hurling or Gaelic Football on the hallowed turf of Croke Park itself. The clubs that went this year were picked from a draw consisting of clubs who have not previously being the opportunity to experience the day. The lucky clubs in Hurling were Ogonnelloe, Tulla, Ruan and O’ Callaghan’s Mills. The fortunate clubs in Gaelic Football were O’ Curry’s, an amalgamation of Liscannor, Michael Cusacks and Shannon Gaels, An Boithrín and Clonlara. This year the hurling day was held on the 13th of July while the Gaelic Football Blitz took place on the following day, the 14th.
U 10 Provincial Day.
In what has also become an annual event clubs from across Munster open their doors to U10 teams from across the province for the annual U10 Provincial day blitzes. At the completion of the blitzes each participant receives a t-shirt and either a sliotar or a football. The clubs that participated in the hurling blitzes this year were Sixmilebridge, Broadford, Naomh Fhlannain/Dal gCais, Scariff, Clarecastle and Clooney/Quin, while in Gaelic Football Cooraclare, Ennistymon, St. Josephs Miltown Malbay, Kilrush Shamrocks, An Boithrín and Na Fianna participated. The blitzes this year were held on 08th of May.
U 11 Gaelic Football Astro Turf and Beach Leagues.
At the start of year an U11 league was set up for all clubs in West and North Clare. The blitzes proved to be a great success, with clubs coming together mixing teams and then playing games between each other. This activity took place on Kilkee Strand and the final day was used to honour the late Georgie Fitzpatrick. The games were run over 4 to 6 weeks depending on the league that clubs were involved in. Other venues included Coolmeen, Quilty and Lisdoonvarna. In total 18 blitzes took place with 628 players participating.
U 16 7aside Gaelic Football League.
In West and Mid Clare an U16 7 aside league was set up to give activities to those who were not involved in school exams but would have had no matches until the exams would be complete. The blitzes were organised throughout May and drew big crowds to host venues. In total 11 blitzes took place with 394 players participating.
U14 11aisde Gaelic Football Blitz.
Also in May 11 aside U14 Blitzes were organised to give further activity for the football clubs who had no games at that time. The blitzes were mixed clubs who played each other in 2 to 4 rounds depending on the amount of clubs in ones cluster. In total 7 blitzes took place with 215 players taking part.
Club Visits were carried out this year throughout the course of the year. The GDA’s were responsible for making the visits to each club in their area where they held coaching sessions with various teams throughout the year. The GDA’s would also have met with the clubs and helped give feedback on matters concerning the clubs in relation to coaching and games. The visits would usually be organised between the GDA and the club coaching officer or secretary.
This year has seen changes in structure to both the Hurling and Gaelic Football Development Squads. In hurling a new development squad committee was set up by Bord Na nóg iomaint. This committee comprised of Seán McMahon, Jim McInerney, Jamsie O’ Connor and Brian Quinn. This committee went around the country and talked with a lot of other hurling counties with regards to what they were doing. They also set up meetings to talk with all local coaches to get their feedback on the new structures going forward. The new structure that the committee unveiled comprised of 3 regional squads at U14 and U15 level to begin with while maintaining the 2 regional squads (ie East and Mid Clare) at U16 level and having 1 squad at 17. The committee ten went about recruiting coaches and arranging venues and specific dates for training. The regional squads were kept in place until 4 weeks before the provincial/national blitzes, when county squads were chosen. The squads went on to represent Clare in the Tony Forristal (U14A), Sonny Walsh (U14B), Carrigaline (U15), Tipperary Supporters Club (U16) and the Eugene Carey Memorial (U17) tournaments.
In Gaelic Football a regional U15 and U17 competition was set up in early February. This competition was formatted by breaking the 3 regions down into 6. Each region was entitled to pick any U14, or U15 from their area that they wish to make up the U15 squad while at U17level, all 16 and 17 year old players were eligible. The U17 tournament did not get the results which the concept of the games was designed for. Low numbers and poor interest meant that we are looking at alternatives for this age group next year. The U15 tournament was a huge success with all squads participating in 6 weeks of games which finished with a blitz in St. Flannans College where all teams played at the same time on 3 different pitches. After the competition the players were brought for regional training sessions, 1 region was West/North Clare while the other region was Mid/South/East Clare. The players trained in these squads before county A and B squads were selected at U14 ad U15 and 1 squad was chosen at U16. These squads went on to represent the county in the Jim Power U14, 15 and Limerick supporters’ club U16 tournaments in July. The U17 squad participated in a 4 week competition between Clare, Limerick, Waterford and Tipperary on every Monday in October. The games were played under lights on a home and away basis. At the end of the league section the top 2 counties played the cup final while the bottom 2 counties played the plate final. Clare won the plate final. At the end of the year a regional competition was set up for U14 level and regions could pick any 13 or 14 year in their area for the squads. In total 110 players are involved in the competition.
Og Iomaint / Og Peil
Each year Munster hosts a 2 day training camp for the third U14 Hurling development squad and the second U14 Gaelic Football squad. This year the training camps were held in C.I.T. Each panel is restricted to 24 players. The two day camp includes coaching sessions and blitz matches against teams from other counties. All players received a great deal of experience from the days as the coaches present are always of the best quality.
U12 and U13 Divisional Squads.
This year again saw the running of the U12 and U13 divisional squads. At U12 level the hurling took place over a 6 week period and incorporated 6 divisions. The players received training and 3 blitz days. The final of which was played over 2 days on the October bank holiday weekend. In total 125 players participated in the U12 hurling programme. In Gaelic Football the U12 squads received 3 training sessions and finished with a blitz day. In total there was 5 squads and 119 players involved. At U13 level there was 4 squads in hurling; they received coaching for 3 weeks and finished up with a blitz day in Clarecastle grounds. There were 125 players involved.
Primary Schools Coaching.
Throughout the school calendar year our GDA’s continue to offer expert coaching in Hurling and Gaelic Football to all the primary school students in the county. As well as coaching, a lot of blitzes both internally and externally were organised for the schools. We focus on the fundamental movements with many of the younger children while we increase the enjoyment and skills knowledge of the children in the older classes.
Secondary Schools Coaching.
In secondary schools coaching our GDA’s have coached in all schools during the year. We have placed a greater importance on the secondary schools this year as we feel that the transition from primary school to secondary school needs to be followed coaching wise. In Gaelic Football we have been involved in a joint initiative with the Munster Council for coaching. On weekend mornings we have been coaching the 1st and 2nd year students of West Clare at a central venue, the same has been occurring in North Clare. In Rice College Ennis we have been having after school training during the week. The listed schools have also taking part in blitzes both internal and external to the county.. In all we now have nearly 200 boys participating in this scheme.
V.H.I. GAA Cúl and Indoor Easter Camps.
This year we had 3055 children attend our camps. The camps are run Monday to Friday in 46 venues over an 8 week period. The camps give the children between 7 and 13 an opportunity to learn new skills and improve their knowledge of the games while meeting inter county players as they do. This year we introduced an Easter Camp which was run indoors in Colaiste Mhuire Ennis. The kids practiced hurling for the week while also taking part in indoor leagues throughout the week. We had 25 participants at the Easter Camp.
In total this year we have run 25 courses in either hurling or football. We have trained in excess of 600 new foundation level coaches. We have also delivered courses in Secondary schools and for the V.E.C. We also ran a LEVEL 1 course in St. Flannan’s College throughout the month of November. This course was a Level 1 Youth course which was piloted by our Development squad and Divisional squad coaches.
This year we have run a number of workshops on various topics. In Football we had Pat Flanagan deliver a course on speed and conditioning in Kildysart. We also ran many other workshops with the help of our GDA’s in both football and hurling. In hurling Paudie Butler has delivered workshops in the county throughout the year.
Gaelic Football Promotion Officers.
In cooperation with the Clare Football Supporters Club, Clare GAA, we hired 2 U.L. co-operative students on a 9 month contract. These students were given training before they received their region’s to work in. They proved to of great benefit to Clare Coaching and Games as they helped with school’s coaching, divisional squad coaching, club visits and overseeing go games blitzes. They also were of great assistance to our full time G.D.A.’s when running various workshops and courses throughout the year.
2011 and What’s Planned?
One of the biggest changes coming in 2011 will be the change at U12 level from competition to mini league basis. The leagues will be on a home and away basis while grading’s will take place to see which division clubs will play in. The leagues tables will be kept and updated regularly on the county website www. clare.gaa.ie. there will be a final’s day for teams in each division which will be played in the top venues in the county on the same weekend.
A coaching seminar will run in February next year which will be beneficial for both coaches and coaching officers/administrators. Details will be released shortly.
We in Clare have secured permission from Munster Council to run a U15B Hurling tournament in August of next year. This will be a provincial tournament with counties second teams participating. Kerry will be allowed to enter their 1st team.