After 15 training sessions and 18 matches in 14 weeks, the hardest working team in Sixmilebridge finished up their season last Wednesday when the U11s saw out 2019 with a fun evening under lights in O'Garney Park. It was a fitting end to a season which, as well as the focus on training and playing matches, has put a large emphasis on having fun and inclusiveness.
The final night consisted of various activities including:
- Last man standing from jabbing the ball.
- Try getting the sliotar into the wheelie bin.
- Try hitting a ballon from 20 metres
- Hungry hippo.
- Heads, shoulders, knees and ball.
- A short match.
- PowerPoint presentation to the players of the season’s stats taken over 18 games.
- Meet and greet with our senior players and the Cannon Hamilton
While that all sounds like fun , there was also the small matter of the Coaches v Players 'Tug of War' to be decided. In a press conference earlier in the evening, U11 Head Coach Adrian Chaplin expressed confidence that his Coaches team (with help from Senior Hurlers Caimin Morey, Noel Purcell and Jason Loughnane ) would prevail stating 'the U11s won't be able to cope with the sheer muscle power and raw physicality we will be bringing to this competition'. The U11s, on the other hand, imposed a media ban with no players being made available for interview. Wild rumours were floating about that the young lads had enacted a self-imposed 'junk ban' with the squad swearing off the Halloween Trick or Treat sweats in preparation for this showdown. In the end it was an anti-climatic affair, with the Coaches putting up a good show for about 7 seconds before the U11s took over. There was calls for a Stewards Inquiry by the Coaches (something to do with the fact that U11s had 26 lads on their team) but that was over-ruled as it was time to head indoors where the evening concluded with a feast of sweets, treats and sandwiches.
Many thanks to Caimin, Noel and Jason who gave up their evening to hang out and have fun with the U11 squad. Great credit is due to the senior players as they were in no rush away and they stayed for a chat and posed for many photos. Thanks also to all the parents who brought plenty of food to nourish the hungry troops after all the activities.
There were several awards handed out on the night to lads who made big impressions throughout the season.
Some highlights of the season:
- 30 second skills tests in the wall ball on striking both left and right.
- Matches under lights in O’Garney Park.
- Bus trip to Sarsfields GAA in Cork and especially Supermacs on the way home!
- Making pancakes and smoothies with Laura.
- Breaking old hurleys at training.
- Fun training nights.
- Training sessions with guest coaches.
The U11 season would not be possible without the help of many, many people from our great club:
- Our U11 management team of Adrian Chaplin, Damien Keane and Eoin Gavin.
- Jean Chaplin, Emma Keane, Denise Gavin, Christine McNamara and Laura McInerney for managing all the catering throughout the year.
- David O'Connor, Kevin Phelan and Mike O’Halloran for their expertise on match days.
- Damien Madigan for arranging our U10 players for match days, ClubZap reports and especially for the highlights video of the U11 season
- Laura McInerney for organising and presenting our healthy eating initiative evening where the players made their own smoothies and pancakes in the club dressing rooms!
- Grace Fawl for always being available and accommodating when looking for pitches, lights and dressing rooms.
- The minor club executive, Mike, Edel and Kieran for always supporting our requests.
- Christy Murray and Paddy Meehan for providing the flood lights throughout the year.
- John Corbett and his team of groundsmen for always having the facilities in superb condition.
- The many referees who assisted throughout the year: Kieran Liddane, Kevin Corry, Daniel Chaplin, Fionn Hayes, Cian Fawl, Luke O’Halloran and Mike Quinn.
- Our Social Media (Clubify, Twitter, Facebook) Administrators.
- All parents who helped with catering at our home games.
- Finally, but most importantly – to all the players and their parents for their commitment throughout the year!
For the record the following players made up our 2019 U11 squad:
Charlie Keane, Cian McInerney, Conor Fitzpatrick, Conor Gleeson, Conor Peacock, Cuan Mac Giolla Cearra, Daithi Casey, Daragh Sweeney, Donal O'Leary, Dylan Keogh , Dylan Tobin, Eoin O'Leary, Jack McNamara, Jack O'Halloran, Liam Sweeney, Logan Loughnane, Luke Deegan, Killian McNamara, Oisin O'Brien, Rory Chaplin, Stephen Gavin, Vlad Vrabete, Zak Phelan, Leon Duggan, Dean Carr, Devin Downes.
Best of luck to the players in 2020 when they play U12. The players are expected to practice, practice, practice during the winter months to improve their striking. All you need is a hurley, ball and wall!
In the mean time this short video shows some of the highlights of the season: