From Monday, January 2nd to Sunday, January 8th, the year got of to a promising start with regard to divisional teams, with all Carbery and Beara underage panels assembling at various stages during the week...
On Monday, the Carbery Beara U14 footballers from 2011 trained at the astroturf at Ahamilla and with 50 players from across 20 clubs forming this panel, they are in a stong position to field two panels for the inter-divisional tournaments in 2012. Sean McCarthy (Bantry) manages this team along with selectors Diarmuid O'Callaghan (Mizen Rovers), JJ Santry (Kilmeen) and Dan O'Sullivan (Castlehaven).
Also on Monday, the 2011 U15 footballers trained under the watchful eye of selectors James McCarthy (Castlehaven), Kevin O'Driscoll (Kilmacabea) and Charlie Wilson (Newcestown). This group now also carries a panel of almost 50 players, again with 20 clubs represented. Most of the squad were back in action on the following Saturday, when they trained in the scenic surroundings of Inchydoney and a number of this group subsequently formed a B panel that had a useful outing in a challenge match versus Muskerry in Ballinascarthy on Saturday last, in preparation for the upcoming tournaments.
The following players were present: Cian Healy, Newcestown, Damien O'Brien, Carbery Rangers, Eoghan Deasy, Clonakilty, Stephen Holland, Colm Og, Darren O'Donovan, Goleen, Jason Jordan, Newcestown, Eoin O'Brien, Pedlars Cross, Edward Ahern, St. Brogans, Shane McDermott, Kilmacabea, Jack O'Connor, Sam Maguires, Eoin Lavers, Sam Maguires, Luke Meade, Newcestown, Cathal O'Donovan, Argideen Rangers, Csaba O'Mahony, Castlehaven, Stephen O'Sullivan, Glengarriff, Eamon Barrett, Kilmeen, Carthaigh O'Driscoll, Garnish, Gearoid O'Sullivan, Glengarriff, Kevin O'Donovan, Ahan Gaels, Duncan Lehane, Clonakilty, Eoin O' Neill, Clonakilty, Cathal Clarke, Newcestown.
Finally, also on Monday 2nd, the U16 footballers of 2011 trained and this group again contains 50 players, with the aim of fielding two panels in competition. Selectors Flor Murphy (Bantry), Connie O'Driscoll (Mizen Rovers), Cormac O'Neill (Garnish) and Tom Hayes (Kilmacabea) were present. The same panel then reassembled on the following Sunday at Inchydoney, once again in preparation for upcoming tournaments.
On Tuesday, it was the turn of the 2012 U14 footballers, with over 80 players attending three different sessions. Given the numbers wishing to join this panel, serious consideration is now required in terms of arranging training venues and selectors to allow us to accomodate the huge volume of players who wish to play with the Carbery Beara teams.
On Wednesday, the U13 'Emerging Players' descended on Clonakilty from almost all clubs in Carbery and Beara, with huge numbers again illustrating the desire of players and parents for exposure to further coaching and games. This group will assemble on 6-7 occasions annually, during which they will receive general training advice, receive specific areas to work improve on and play internal games. They will not form a panel or team, but will meet during schools holidays and mid-term breaks at various stages in 2012, before forming divisional panels at U14 level in 2013. All of the necessary registration and paperwork will also be completed in 2012 to allow a seamless transition to subsequent panels and teams.
On Thursday, the action switched to Adrigole, with the Beara divisional teams assembling at U14, U16 and U18 level. Of course, these panels will also be playing in club competitions at Premier 2 level, while also joining up with their Carbery counterparts for the inter-divisional tournaments.
On Friday, it was back to Clonakilty, with the Carbery U14, U15 and U16 hurling panels for 2012 assembling at various times. One hundred and ten hurlers trained, across the three groups, clearly illustrating the importance of Carbery hurling teams at all levels in allowing club players to be challenged at a higher level. As usual Tom Lyons of Clonakilty was present to run a number of sessions and he was ably assisted by Carbery schools coach Michael Mennis.
Over the course of a hectic week, a large number of parents and club coaches visited and provided support, but special mention must go to CIT student Ronan Milner of Carbery Rangers and Carlow IT student Paudie Crowley of O'Donovan Rossa who ran several of the sessions listed above. Of course, both venues were in their usual pristine condition, thanks to James O'Donovan and the team at Ahamilla and Michael Dominic O'Sullivan at Adrigole.
With the 2011 inter-divisional football tournaments yet to be completed, the next few weekends will hopefully see a number of the above panels in action. Further details to follow. Of course, several of the players and mentors referred to above will also be involved with Cork development squads and schools of excellence. Please note that all squads are open-ended and if you know of players who would like to try out for panels, you can let us know.
Finally, given the size and the geographical spread of the above panels, a special effort will be made over the next month to recruit more coaches and mentors to allow the current trend to continue. The availability of venues is also crucial and if any club wishes to offer their facilities as a base, it will be their own club players who will benefit most in terms of travelling.