Secretary report 2015
It is my pleasure to welcome you all here to the Emo GAA 2015 AGM. This has been yet another busy year for our club and we will now go through the Secretary’s report together and discuss matters arising from it.
Division 1/Senior Team
Like every year we begin with the great hope that this may be our year, on board again were Pat Ryan, David Costello & Christy Dunphy. Training started well and we got off to a good start with a win in our first game in the league. However being a small club and two guys in with the county and another to working in England and some injuries along the way. It’s honest to say that we played most of the league with a panel of 17 to 19 players. We struggled and were lucky in not to getting relegated. The championship rolled around against our close rivals The Heath, to say we did not perform would be an understatement and intermediate football seemed to be calling. However during the next two weeks players and management let each other know a few home truths. We went into the Ballylinan game with a 50/50 chance. I think it was our best performance of the championship, We got to the nest round to beat Killeshin & then St. Joseph’s in the quarter final. The semi 0 final Vs Arles Kilcruise was tough, we were on top early in the second half, switched off and were lucky to get a replay. A great display in the replay say Emo comfortably reach our first final in a decade.
I must say that build up around the village was something I have not seen in a long time. So many young kids wearing the Emo jerseys, the club presenting each school child with an Emo flag really got the young children of Emo a sense of this is our village and we want to play with Emo when we get older.
It was probably our best chance of winning a final, we kept it close the first half and them with a couple of sucker punches and with 10/12 minutes left being 5 points up we should have closed it off. However it took a professional athlete to make the difference. We might say that this is not right; my view is a lot of respect should be given to this guy for putting a professional career on the line for his club, if we had him we would have played him. The replay did not go as planned and maybe the fact that 4 games in 4 weeks caught up on us. All in all it was a very good year and hopefully we can go the extra step next year.
Division 4/Junior B Team
I really feel that the juniors really shone this year. Our fear at the start of the year was that we would struggle to field a team. However with a lot of the younger lads really getting stuck in and showing the way, and with a few older guys, they went unbeaten in the league format. We played O’ Dempsey’s in Division 5 League Final, and in a great game we came away victorious by two points. In the quarter final we were beaten by the outright winners Killeshin by 5 points, having a few guys away on holidays and for injuries it may have been a different outcome.
Under 21 – Courtwood Emo The Rock
This is a competition that unless the GAA are going to take seriously should be scraped. However, we were well beaten on the day by Rosenallis. I do feel that with 3 traditionally football sides should have been a little more prepared and should not be beaten by a traditionally hurling side. I would like to thank Mick Ryan, there was very few putting their name forward to get involved in this situation.
Minor League & Championship – Emo Courtwood The Rock
Being involved myself, they were a great bunch, the biggest issue was that we had the bear 15 players and if someone was not available we were in serious trouble of not fielding a team. They performed very well and were very unlucky in the league semi-final to be beaten by Ballylinan Gaels by a late goal. We were well beaten in the first round vs Timahoe Gaels, we were missing two regulars and when picking from a small bunch of lads I feel it made the difference. I must add from what I seen, that we are far superior as regards what lads we have coming through at this age group, three lads went on to play Senior Championship and proved that they were more than capable. As regards for the others not old enough for Senior this year, they will have no issue in pushing on.
The U/16s had a great year winning the county Final & reaching the league final.
The U/15s also reached the County Final only to be beaten.
The U/14s were beaten in the County Final. However they won the Feile in Laois & went on the Final to be beaten by a very strong Donegal side.
The U/13s also reached the county final only to be beaten.
The U/12s won the Laois Shield competition
St. Paul’s LGFA
It was a great year for the ladies winning an historic first Junior Championship beating St. Joseph’s, well done to the Ladies.
Under age the U/16 reached the Championship Final only to be beaten, but winning the League. The minors are currently in the semi-final and awaiting for a fixture date. The U/12’s & U/14’s reached the championship final and were unfortunately beaten on the day. It makes great reading. We thank all mentors and supporters for their great work during the year. Lastly the Mother’s & Other’s deserve a mention for their great efforts and for snaring Marty Morrissey for an interview.
Club Development & Future
We do have a great set-up for the sportspeople of Emo. However we do have a serious issue regarding dressing rooms, reading the above regarding the amount of teams. We have to admit that the current dressing room set up is a disgrace, and if this stays as is we are definitely leaving an opening for young children in the area to be exposed to embarrassing situation’s or worse.
The club are announcing a development of dressing rooms to be built to alleviate this issue which our Chairman Paddy Brophy will inform you of details at this meeting.
I do feel that we should discuss the current use of the pitch in front of the main hall. There are a lot of issues during the year regarding who was training where. It is a community field that the GAA, Soccer & Athletic club all share equally. I do feel that they all should come together and set aside an area of the field that they will only use for training. There is nobody right or wrong or to blame regarding this issue, with so many teams using the facilities, they reply of OH IT’S A COMMUNITY FIELD WE CAN TRAIN WHERE WE LIKE, is not resolving anything. There needs to be rules regarding this to avoid any more issues that will always arise with the situation we have at the moment.
Emo have been approached by the Slieve Bloom club regarding 7/8 of their players wishing to play for Emo. I feel that it very important that we discuss this issue at today’s meeting.
Finance and Fundraising
We would like firstly to thank our Main Sponsors Cam Saw ( Paul Carney) taking on the charge of our main sponsor for the three years. Finline Furniture has also made the same commitment and we are very grateful for that.
The €130 was a great success and did take a lot of pressure throughout the year. We had a few small winners, but nothing major, they will be back in January and we will need to push again.
Thanks to Hilary for keeping the Lotto going, I think it’s fair to say that only for her regarding this draw it would be money that the club may not have during the year.
Getting to the county final did put a lot of strain on both the club and the people of the area. We have to give a lot of thanks to the people of Emo and local business for their welcome support.
If we go ahead and build dressing rooms it is important that we still prioritise the teams firstly as they make the club what it is.
Emo GAA Football Summer Camp
Thanks to Darren Strong and Nigel Murphy for the great work they done in organising our summer camp, again it was a great success and it was great to see so many kids in the field and so many teenagers interested in helping out.
Thanks for all their hard work, Gabriel Lawlor especially for donating so much time to the club. We also now have guys from the FAS scheme to help out so hopefully this will improve things even more.
County Board Delegate
I would like to thank Mick Ryan for representing Emo as our county board delegate.
Huge thanks to Hilary Lawlor for keeping the teams in clean kits throughout the year. Also great thanks to the ladies for organising food before and after training.
Thanks to all who helped with stewarding throughout the year for games and events and to those who volunteered to help in other ways.
Thanks to Darren Burke for doing a great job as the physio for all the teams this year.
If I am to be really honest players only really stood up after the embarrassing defeat to The Heath. What they done after this defeat was something that should be installed to every player who wears the club colours. To take responsibility of what you can achieve and not be looking at the club and asking what they are not doing or what they can do for me. We had two guys that travelled from London each and every week, never looked for loss of wages once. But the one guy any player should look to is Shane Murphy, our best player by far this year, to have a major operation that Shane had less than a year ago, never as much looked for a penny from the club. Leinster Express player of the year and now called into the Laois Seniors. These are the kind of guys we want playing for Emo. No player should be chased to play or train, the club provides a great set up for all players and no one is treated differently, if we are to improve on last year it’s the players that will do it with the help of the club and locality.
I would like to wish Darren, Evan, Shane, Nigel and John Strong the best wishes in the 2016 season with Laois Senior Footballers.
For myself this was the highlight of the year, before the county final the team had an open night with all the young players from Emo. It was the best fun and most memorable night the team had in a long time and will be fondly remembered in time to come. I would like to thank both parents and children for all their support.
Finally, on behalf of Emo GAA, I would like to say one last THANK YOU to everyone who buys tickets, who sells tickets, who gives their time free of charge to the Club and who support our club in any way they can – this is what makes Emo GAA such a great club.
Finally I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Runai, CLG Ioma
Votes of Sympathy for 2015
The club extends deepest sympathies to all family and friends for their loss during the year.