Under-7 Contact for 2023
Under-7 Coach Contact for 2023
For all enquiries related to the Boys Under-7 group in 2023, please contact John at 087 350 6119.
Under-7 includes all boys born in 2016 and 2017.
Training times for this group may be found on the Training Schedule page.
Under-8 Management team for 2020
The Under-8 group will be looked after by Ashley Cahill (Team Co-ordinator), supported by Richie Byrne, John Murphy, Bernie McEnroe, Thomas Keena and Geraldine Griffith. The Under-8 group is for boys born during 2011 and 2012.
Contact Ashley on 086-8131980 with any queries regarding the Under-8 group.
Training for this group is on on Sunday mornings (from 11:00am to 12:00pm), and on Wednesday evenings from 6pm to 7pm, on the Garrycastle Astroturf pitch.
Training will be held on the Astroturf pitch in Garrycastle during February and March, and on the Grass training pitch from April.
2020 Street Leagues, Sunday September 27th 2020
On Sunday morning the Garrycastle U7 and U9 Boys once again joined forces with the U8 and U10 girls to contest Rounds 5 and 6 of the Garrycastle Street Leagues.
With plenty of skills and determination on show; the team spirit, sportsmanship and team work was outstanding in all teams. With the full time whistles barely blown, focus immediately switched to the penultimate weekend of games as the players compared scorelines and talked tactics for the matches ahead.
2020 Street Leagues, Sunday September 13th 2020
Sunday morning saw the start of the annual Garrycastle Street League tournament at the Club grounds. For the 2020 competition, mixed teams from Under 10 and Under 8 Girls along with the Under 9 and Under 7 Boys squads took to the field to do battle.
On a hugely enjoyable morning's football, 63 players took part in the opening round of fiercely competitive fixtures in a wonderful showcase of skill, teamwork, fun and friendship.
The organising committee would like to express most sincere thanks to the local schools, Cornamaddy NS, Clonbonny NS, St Ciaran's NS Baylin, Coosan NS, Scoil na gCeithre Máistrí and Ballinahown NS for their fantastic show of community support to provide jerseys for the teams.
Under-8 GO Games Fixture Calendar
The following is the schedule for Under-8 GO games for the remainder of the year:
Street League Finals Day : September 29th
Picture from the Street leagues final day held in Garrycastle on Sunday September 29th. The street league had 6 mixed teams, made up of boys from under-7 to under-9, and girls from under-7 to under-10.
Under-8 GO Games Blitz : September 14th
On a great Saturday morning for football, the Garrycastle Under 8 Squad made the trip to Castletown-Geoghegan to take on Lilliput Gaels in the penultimate match of the 2019 Westmeath GAA Go Games.
Fielding two teams on the day, the Garrycastle players got to test themselves in different positions, showing great determination and team work against good opposition.
Big thank you to our hosts Lilliput Geals for the fantastic hospitality shown to our players and coaches. We look forward to future battles next season.
Next up for the Super 8’s is the short trip to Kilbeggan on Saturday 28th September for the final match in the hugely enjoyable Go Games Series.
All our Under 7 and Under 8 players are also involved in the Garrycastle Street Leagues which continue next weekend on the main pitch and astro.
Daragh Dolan, David Dolan, Eoghan McCormack, James Cahill, Jamie Costello, Michael Kelly, Oliver Costello, with coach Ashley Cahill.
Aidan Martin, Callum Lowe, Darragh Donegan, Jason Doolan, Kealan McCormack, Senan Keena, Senan Kelly, William Francis-Redmond, with coach Thomas Keena.
Street League Fun!
Street League Fun!
Garrycastle Boys Street League group - 2019
Garrycastle Street league group - 2019
Under-8 GO Games Blitz : August 31st
Despite the early morning rain, the Under 8 squad welcomed Castledaly to Garrycastle for the final home match of the Westmeath GAA Go Games Series.
Fielding two teams on the day, the Garrycastle players performed very well in difficult conditions. Using the clubs astroturf facility the sides had a chance to play a match on “dry land” while also getting to grips with the heavy conditions on the main pitch.
Credit to our neighbours Castledaly for providing very strong opposition; and having played each other home, away and on neutral ground, we look forward to doing battle again next year.
The remaining fixtures in the Westmeath GAA Go Games see Garrycastle travel to Lilliput Gaels on Saturday 14th September, while on Saturday 28th September they make the short trip to Kilbeggan.
Additional challenge matches are in the pipeline and with the Garrycastle Street Leagues now underway there is still plenty of football to be played.
Aaron Costello, Breandán Galvin, Brian Feeney, Daniel Murphy, Daniel Sleator, Kealan McCormack, Michael Kelly, Oliver Costello, Robert Connor, Senan Keena, William Francis-Redmond.
Aidan Martin, Callum Lowe, Daragh Dolan, Darragh Donegan, James Cahill, Jamie Costello, Jan Pozarowski, Jason Doolan, Kealan Byrne, Senan Kelly.
Under-8 GO Games Blitz : July 20th
On Saturday morning, the Garrycastle Under 8 squad took the long winding road to Ballynacargy for Round 7 of the Westmeath GAA Go Games.
Facing stiff competition from both the hosts and fellow guests Lilliput Gaels, the Garrycastle players put in a fantastic performance in all matches. Their dedication to training paid off as the gave a great show of skills and teamwork throughout a great mornings football.
Garrycastle Reds: Daragh Dolan, David Dolan, Eoghan McCormack, James Cahill, Jamie Costello, Keelan McCormack, and Tyler Conlon.
Adam Wojcik, Callum Lowe, Daniel Murphy, Jason Doolan, Kealan Byrne and William Francis-Redmond.
Under-8 GO Games Blitz : July 6th
On Saturday morning, the Garrycastle Under-8 squad made the short journey to Castledaly to take part in Round 3 of the Westmeath.
Having completed the first series of Westmeath GAA Go Games with a recent trip to Cusack Park , the Under 8 squad kicked off Series 2 by welcoming Caulry and Tyrrellspass to Garrycastle for some Saturday morning football.
Fielding two teams on the day, the Garrycastle players continued to put their hard work in training into practice as they tested themselves in all positions against tough opposition.
Huge excitement at full time as the team got to celebrate with the ACFL Division 1 Cup, won by the Garrycastle senior team the evening before.
Thanks to our friends in Caury and Tyrrellspass for great games, and we wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season.
With the GAA Cúl Camps taking place in Garrycastle from July 8 - 12,, Under 8 training will take a short break until Wednesday 17th July.
Garrycastle Squad: Adam Wojcik, Aidan Martin, Brian Feeney, Callum Lowe, Daniel Murphy, Daniel Sleator, Daragh Dolan, Darragh Donegan, Eoghan McCormack, Harry McEnroe, James Cahill, Jason Doolan, Kealan Byrne, Keelan McCormack, Robert Connor, Michael Kelly, Mohid Sohail, Senan Keena, Tyler Conlon, William Francis-Redmond, David Dolan.
Under-8 GO Games Blitz : May 25th
On Saturday morning, the Garrycastle Under-8 squad made the short journey to Castledaly to take part in Round 3 of the Westmeath GAA Go Games.
Facing opposition from Castledaly and Maryland/Tang, Garrycastle fielded 2 teams on the day, with both sides playing 2 matches each. The players got to test themselves in all positions, showing a fantastic display of skill, determination, sportsmanship and teamwork. While the players showed great skills kicking goals and points, it was nothing compared to the skills doing “the dab” and celebration dances!
Thanks to our friends in Castledaly for organising a great mornings football.
Aaron Costello, Brian Feeney, Daniel Murphy, Eoghan McCormack, Harry Doran, Harry McEnroe, James Cahill, Kealan Byrne, Oliver Costello, Robert Connor, Senan Kelly.
Adam Wojcik, Breandan Galvin, Callum Lowe, Jamie Costello, Jason Doolan, Matthew Gacquin, Michael Kelly, Senan Keena, Tyler Conlon, William Francis-Redmond.
Under-8 GO Games Blitz : May 25th
Under-8 GO Games Blitz : April 27th
On a blustery Saturday morning in the Midlands, the Garrycastle Under-8 squad welcomed their counterparts from Kilbeggan Shamrocks for the second round of the 2019 Westmeath GAA Go Games.
Making use of the main pitch and the Clubs astroturf facility, Garrycastle fielded 2 teams with 4 matches played on the day. Despite difficult weather conditions, all the players put in a fantastic performance, with great shows of skills and team work throughout the games.
Taking full advantage of the strong wind, both sides kicked some monster points from distance to keep the umpires on their toes during a hugely entertaining mornings football.
With matches coming thick and fast over the coming weeks, training for the Under 8's squad continues on Wednesday, 6pm on the Garrycastle Astro.
Garrycastle squad on the day:
Aaron Costello, Adam Wojcik, Aidan Martin, Brian Feeney, Callum Lowe, Daniel Murphy, Daragh Dolan, Eoghan McCormack, Harry Doran, James Cahill, Jamie Costello, Jason Doolin, Keelan Byrne, Matthew Gacquin, Oliver Costello, Robert Connor, Senan Kelly and William Francis Redmond.
The dates and locations for the 2018 Westmeath U8 GO Games Football blitzes are as follows:
U8 Blitz dates:
Under-7/8/9 Street Leagues Finals Day, September 30th
Group picture of all those who took part in the Street League finals day in Garrycastle.
Includes U9/U8/U7 Boys & U10/U9/U8/U7 Girls.
Under-8 Blitz in Cusack Park, Mullingar, August 21st
The Garrycastle under-8 team which took part in the under-8 football blitz in Cusack Park, Mullingar.
Under-8 Blitz in Ballinacarrigy, July 21st
Garrycastle fielded two teams at the under-8 blitz held on Saturday morning in Ballinacarrigy.
Both teams performed excellently, winning their matches.
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Moate
The Garrycastle u8 squad were in fine form in Moate for one of the county blitzes!
30 June 3017
Our Under 8s took part in the Maryland/Tang blitz on Friday evening last competing against Caulry, Milmore and the host club. Twenty boys represented Garrycastle and showed some excellent skill and teamwork. Well done to all and to the hosts for organising a great evening of football.
14 May 2017
Sunday Morning Training continued on Sunday last and will be on again next week. New members are welcome so if you are thinking of joining, or if your friend would like to join just turn up. The players got a surprise last Sunday when they all got Mr Freeze pops courtesy of Pascal Dillon and the gang in Dan’s. Many thanks to them.
27 March 2017
Congratulations and best wishes for the future to our newly wed U8 coach Philly Fuery.
Congratulations also to Sarah Dolan & St Joseph's Secondary School Rochfortbridge Senior Ladies Football team on winning the Post Primary Schools All Ireland B Final.
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Cusack Park Mullingar, June 29th
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Caulry, April 23rd
About 30 of Garrycastles u8 trailblazers were in action on Saturday on a sun drenched Caulry pitch for the first outing of the season. Supported by a strong showing from parents 3 teams were fielded will all performing very well. Many of the training skills were on show, results showed that we have a group of very fast learners and all parents should be proud of how all of the young boys and girls played.
Whilst there were some exceptional performances and some interesting new talents came to light it was encouraging for management to see all these young players do so well.
St. Patrick's Day Parade, Athlone!
The Under-8 group marched proudly in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Athlone this year.
For details and photos, please see the St. Patrick's Day page!
New Kit Sponsorship from Senator Windows, Athlone!
The Under-8 group will have an all new kit this year, sponsored by Senator Windows Athlone!
St. Patricks Day Parade
The younger players in Garrycastle, (from Nursery/Under-6 up to Under-10), marched proudly in this years St. Patricks Day parade. For photos etc, please see the St. Patricks Day Parade page!
Christmas Party, December 14th
Our Annual Christmas party for our youngest players/club members was held in our Clubhouse last Monday. The evenings entertainment started with an interactive magic show where the Magician kept his audience of over 130 children amazed with his bag of tricks.
At the interval, the children gave Santa a huge welcome and sang Christmas carols along with him, and while Santa settled in for a long evening of meeting and talking to each child in his grotto, the second half of our party started with a Christmas Puppet Show which was a big hit with the audience. The party finished up with a mini disco.
The Minor board would like to thank all the parents and club members that helped to make it a very enjoyable evening for all those that attended. Special thanks to Santa, his Elfs and Photographer, The Kids Club Entertainment Show, and the parents that brought along treats on the night.
Happy Christmas to you all and we hope Santa brings everything you asked for this Christmas morning!
Halloween Party, October 31st
Our clubhouse was taken over by 76 young Superheroes, Pirates, Princesses, Grim Reapers, Vampires, Witches and lots more for our annual Halloween Party, with plenty of treats, music, fun and games. Even “Auld Sheik” couldn’t keep up with the pace and had to sit down, but ended up being “mummified” with loo roll. All our spooky revellers were treated to a large bonfire and fireworks to finish off the night.
Our Annual Halloween Parties offer our youngest members a safe and supervised environment and we can provide this only with the help of parents and club members who generously give up their time for our underage players. On behalf of the club – well done guys!
Huge thanks to Nicola Henson, Sinead Shine and all the other organisers for a job excellently done!
Under-8 End-of-Year Party, September 29th
The Garrycastle Under-8 group finished up their activities for 2015, with a well deserved party hosted at the Bowling alley on Monday evening. More than 50 of the clubs youngest players attended, for a night of fun and games, bowling (of course!), and fun in the Quasar zone.
2015 has been another successful year for this important age group. The under-8 players of today will be the backbone of the underage teams at all age grades in the years to come, and they have shown by their enthusiasm, efforts and general excellence that they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Huge thanks must go the the management team and mentors at this age group, led by Karl Henson, ably supported by Ger O'Donoghue, Michael Mulvihill, Roy Glennon, Darragh Shine and many others. The skill levels exhibited by these young players, are in no small part due to the efforts and expertise of their mentors.
Some pictures included below to give a taste of the fun on the evening, photos courtesy of Ger O'Donoghue.
As mentioned, this concludes the under-8 activities for 2015. For approximately half of these young players, the move up to the under-10 grade awaits in 2016, and we wish them (and the players who remain to carry on the under-8 mantle), the very best of luck in their football endeavours.
[Report: William Leahy]
Under-8 Challenge vs Roscommon Gaels, Garrycastle, September 19th
Garrycastle welcomed Roscommon Gaels for some Under-8 Challenge matches on Saturday morning.
[More details to follow]
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Garrycastle, September 5th
Garrycastle hosted the one of the final rounds of this years Westmeath county under-8 blitz series on Saturday morning. On a perfect morning for football, we welcomed Kilbeggan/St. Josephs, Tyrellspass and St. Malachys Ballinagore to Garrycastle. A great turnout of more than 30 players allowed us to field 3 teams on the morning, with each team playing two matches.
[ Full notes to follow... ]
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Athlone, August 15th
The Garrycastle Under-8 team made the short journey to Pairc Chiarain on Saturday morning for the latest round of county Under-8 football blitzes. On a lovely morning for football, an absolutely fantastic turnout of no fewer than 36 players attended. This allowed three teams to be fielded, and they each played two matches against their counterparts from Caulry and Athlone.
On the morning the Garrycastle teams showed off the skills they have been perfecting in training and in the recently held Garrycastle Skills week. All six matches included some fantastic catching, tackling and blocking, and up front, scores flowed freely as the teams got into their rythm.
All the players present can take great satisfaction from their efforts. On the morning, the Garrycastle teams were a little too strong for their opponents, and justifiably completed a clean sweep of victories in all of their matches.
Many thanks as always to the Athlone GAA Club for a well run and well organised blitz, with all matches played in a great spirit. And huge thanks as usual to all the players for attending, for the great support on the sidelines from parents and grandparents alike, and for the team mentors for ensuring that everyone present got to play in all of the matches.
Under-8 GO Games, Croke Park, July 13th
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad travelled in force to Croke Park on Monday, to take part in the Leinster Council sponsored Under-8 blitzes. Over 30 Garrycastle players travelled, providing two teams playing against the St. Laurences GAA Club from Kildare.
Slide show from Croke Park day below, with huge thanks to Sinead Shine for all the photos!
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Rosemount, July 10th
The Garrycastle Under-8 travelled to Rosemount for Round 5 of the County Under-8 blitzes.
Detailed report / photos to follow.
Under-8 Challenge vs. Clann na nGael, Johnstown, June 24th
Garrycastle U-8’s played Clann na nGael on Wednesday night, (June 24th), in Johnstown for the first time this year. Both clubs had great numbers which resulted in the creation of three concurrent matches.
The Garrycastle "Red" team played against Clann na nGael’s strongest team which gave the mentors a chance to compare the skills and abilities between the two clubs. When the ball was thrown in the Garrycastle boys tried to keep their positions, but a mix up between players gave Clann the opportunity to kick a fast ball in and post the first score.
However, the Garrycastle team were not fazed and had an immediate response, kicking the next 11 points without response. There were some fine scores from all our forwards and midfielders with some fantastic movement and passing from Kealan McNamara, Andrew Henson and James McHugh.
Daniel Stankard in goals made some vital saves and his accurate kicking was fantastic. Our three backs Oisin Mulvihill, Rian Gaynor and Niadh Shine were cleaning up all 50/50 balls and stopped all Clann attacks.
We expected a strong response from Clann in the second half and they started much sharper with a fine score from long range. However, following some positional changes Oisin Mulvihill started to dominate midfield - laying off the ball into Aaron Keegan, Oisin O’Donoghue and Darragh Glennon where they started scoring from all angles. An absolutely excellent display of football from every player.
The Garrycastle "Green" team weren’t to be outdone by the "Red" team with some fantastic displays throughout the field. This game was a lot more closely contested with both teams picking off some fine scores. However, it was the quality of the tackling, blocking and defending that caught the eye in this game.
Dylan Summers and Keelan Ward made a countless number of fantastic blocks both while in goals, and when they were out the field.
Fionn McMahon and Dylan Frawley were excellent in defence, winning 50/50 balls and taking the ball out of the danger areas. Calum Hudson dominated the midfield area and won every ball that game his way.
Louie Shine and Conor McCormack covered the whole pitch putting in some brilliant tackles and carrying the ball forward with super pace and skill. Upfront Hazel Donegan and Van McCay showed lightening pace and skill and kicked some wonderful scores. Another excellent display.
The Garrycastle "White" team decided from the start that they weren’t going to be outshone either, and got stuck in right from the throw in. This game was also very closely contested and the Garrycastle defence worked hard to keep Clann out. Dylan Moloney, Adam Kearney, Martin Stephens and Christian Turean led from the defence with a brilliant display of tackling and blocking.
Mairead McBride, Luke Quilty and Senan Nugent policed the mid area with great effect with Luke putting in a man of the match performance and picking up three fine scores along the way.
Ronan Croughan, Tadgh Mulvihill, Amelie Henson and Katelin Devlin-Gaffey put in great work all over the field and came out on top in a number of crucial challenges. Rhys Larkin, Oskar Pieskorski and Alex Connor were a constant threat to the Clann defence and picked off a number of fine scores. The "White" team had the largest number of players, and each player showed excellent maturity and comradery when asked to give their teammates a run.
Overall the team performances from all three teams was excellent and to see all the skills of the game being performed, and the improvement being made, by everyone was encouraging.
A big thanks to Trevor from Clann and we hope to return the favour later on in the summer. A huge thanks also to all of the coaches and parents who help out, your support in invaluable and greatly appreciated.
"Red" Team : Darragh Glennon, Daniel Stankard, Rian Gaynor, Oisin Mulvihill, Andrew Henson, Niadh Shine, Oisin O'Donoghue, Kealan McNamara, James McHugh, Aaron Keegan.
"Green" Team : Dylan Somers, Calum Hudson, Louie Shine, Van McCay, Conor McCormack, Hazel Donegan, Dylan Frawley, Fionn McMahon, Keelan Ward.
"White" Team : Katelyn Devlin-Gaffey, Rhys Larkin, Alex Conner, Christian Turean, Senan Nugent, Martin Stephens, Amelie Henson, Dylan Moloney, Adam Kearney, Ronan Croughan, Luke Quilty, Tadhg Mulvihill, Mairead McBride, Oskar Pieskorski.
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Cusack Park, Mullingar, June 15th
A big group of Garrycastle Under-8 players made the trip to the County Grounds, Cusack Park in Mullingar, for the latest round of county sponsored under-8 blitzes. On a lovely evening for football, almost 30 players made the trip, meaning that Garrycastle easily fielded two evenly matched squads. All the players present played on the evening, playing a total of 4 matches, winning all of the games.
The Garrycastle "Red" team played Killucan in their first match, and Maryland in their second match. Some excellent displays on show with Aaron Keegan leading the way with some excellent scores - as good as any that have graced this pitch. Great support play and accurate passing from Hazel Donegan, Luke Quilty and Jack Dowling set up the team to take two well deserved wins. Excellent defensive play from the two Oisin's, Mulvihill and O'Donoghue, minimised any chances the opposition got.
The Garrycastle "Green" team also played Killucan in their first game and St. Malachys/Ballinagore in their second match, and not to be outdone by their teammates on the "Red" team, also set out their stall early. With some great scores from James McHugh, as well as great individual play from Andrew Henson and Rian Gaynor, the "Green" team pressed forward from the start and were rewarded for their efforts on the evening with two superb wins. A feature of the play was some excellent interplay between James and Andrew, with some of the one-twos between them as good as anything the seniors would have done.
Overall, this was an absolutely great display from this very impressive group of players. The hard effort being put into training is really starting to pay dividends, and this group of players surely has a bright future in front of them.
Squad on the evening:
Cristian Turean, Jack Dowling, Conor McCormack, Rian Gaynor, Oisin Mulvihill, Niadh Shine, Cian Norris, Aaron Keegan, Matthew Hardiman, Mairead McBride, Oisin O'Donoghue, Hazel Donegan, Daniel Stankard, Adam Kearney, Dylan Maloney, James McHugh, Louie Shine, James Derwin, Amelie Henson, Senan Nugent, Andrew Henson, Oskar Pieskorski, Darragh Clyne, Conor McCormack, Fionn McMahon, Ronan Croughan, Luke Quilty.
Mentors on the evening:
Ger O'Donoghue and Karl Henson.
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Castledaly, May 22nd
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad travelled to Castledaly on Friday evening to take part in the latest round of County Under-8 football blitzes. On the evening, an absolutely fantastic turnout of more than 30 players, allowed Garrycastle to field three separate teams, with each team playing two matches. This ensured that all players present played the maximum amount of football.
The opposition on the evening was provided by the home club, as well as Rosemount and Kilbeggan/St. Josephs.
On the evening, the Garrycastle teams displayed the various skills they have been perfecting in training each week, and impressed the supporters present with fine displays of tackling, blocking and passing, not to mention some excellent score taking. In the various matches, the Garrycastle teams were a little too strong for their opponents, and finished the evening with a clean sweep of wins.
Huge thanks as always to the mentors, Karl, Ger, Roy, Darragh and Michael, for looking after the teams on the evening, to the players themselves for a fantastic turnout and their enthusiasm to play football, and to the parents for bringing them along and providing such great support on the evening.
Many thanks also to the Castledaly mentors for a well organised and entertaining blitz.
The next blitz is on June 16th in the county grounds in Mullingar.
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Caulry, May 9th
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad traveled the short distance to Caulry on Saturday morning to take part in the latest round of County Under-8 football blitzes.
The Garrycastle squad was much depleted with more than half of the squad absent due to being involved in First Communion celebrations on the day. However, this in turn gave many of the younger players a chance, and on the day we had a great turnout of 20 players.
This allowed us to field 2 teams, giving all of the players present as much match time as possible, and enjoy seeing the rewards of the effort they put in at training, with some fantastic pick ups, tackling and shooting on display.
The Garrycastle "Green" team played against their counterparts from the Moate All-Whites and Caulry. Both matches featured some great football, with great displays from Andrew Henson and the two Conor McCormacks. In both matches the Garrycastle was a little too strong for their opponents.
The Garrycastle "Red" team also played against their counterparts from Caulry and Moate All-Whites. Again, two great games of football were served up, with the players showcasing the skills they are learning at training, and divided the spoils on the day, being narrowly defeated by Caulry, while enjoying success against the All-Whites.
Huge thanks to Caulry for a very well run blitz and for the much appreciated refreshments after the match.
Teams on the day:
Garrycastle "Green" Team: Vivaan Gupta, Oisin O'Donoghue, Andrew Henson, Callum Hudson, Conor McCormack, Conor McCormack, Martin Stephens, Rhys Larkin, Luke Quilty, Amelie Henson, Jack Dowling
Garrycastle "Red" Team: Dylan Somers, Jack McCallon-Tucker, Oisin Mulvihill, Van McCay, Katelyn Devlin-Gaffey, Vidhur Varma Dandu, Sam Heaton, Cristian Alex Lazarescu, Ronan Croughan.
(Match Report: Ger O'Donoghue)
County Under-8 Football Blitz, Garrycastle, April 18th
Garrycastle was the host for the first round of this years County Under-8 football bltzes on Saturday. On a fantastic early summers day, the sun shone brightly from a clear blue sky, as 8 teams of under-8 footballers from Garrycastle, Caulry, Rosemount and Moate took to the field.
On the day we had a fantastic turn out of well over 30 players from our youngest teams, and they played their hearts out in front of a large appreciative crowd of parents, brothers and sisters.
With such huge numbers to pick from, Garrycastle could easily have fielded 3 or even 4 teams on the morning, but to keep to the agreed format, the players were divided up into two teams, playing at 9-a-side, with unlimited substitutions. Each team played two matches.
The Garrycastle "Red" team was led on the day by Karl Henson and Lorraine Gaynor, and played against the Moate All-Whites and Rosemount teams. The Garrycastle "Green" team was led on the day by Ger O'Donoghue and Roy Glennon, and played against the Moate All-Whites and Caulry in their two matches.
With the main pitch being used for Ladies under-14 Féile matches, this was an opportunity to use the new training areas newly installed behind the clubhouse. This is a fantastic addition to the club facilities, and was very favourably commented on by all the teams present.
On the morning, there was a great deal of enthusiastic and skillful football on show. Well done to all who participated! As always at this time of year, we have large numbers of players making the debut in the red-and-green colours. Every journey must start with a single step, and we congratulate all of those who have started out on their football journey, and hope that this is just the first of a great many appearances from them for the club.
Thanks to Jennifer McGuire for the photos!
Squad on the day:
Luke Quilty, Hazel Donegan, Vidhur Varma Dandu, Dean Gacquin, Keelan Ward, James McHugh, Aaron Keegan, Mairead McBride, Sean Galvin, Rian Gaynor, Cian Norris, Christian Turean, Oisin O'Donoghue, Daniel Stankard, Katelyn Devlin-Gaffey, Dylan Frawley, Sam Heaton, Niadh Shine, Andrew Henson, Conor McCormack, Jack Dowling, Sean Donegan, Van McCay, Senan Nugent, Vivaan Gupta, Martin Stephens, Dylan Somers, James Derwin, Amelie Henson, Oskar Pieskorski, Louie Shine, Adam Kearney, Rhys Larkin, Paddy Galvin.
(Posted by William Leahy)
Summer Street League 2014
The teams are picked, the dates are set, now we just need the weather to play nice!
The Street League page for 2014 is here.
Christmas Party, December 15th
Monday night saw the annual Kids Christmas Party for all of the younger players and their brothers and sisters in the clubhouse. A huge crowd turned out on the night, and were well entertained by Bozo the clown, with his balloon animals, hats, swords, and anything else that could be crafted by the imagination, and balloons!
The ladies from Athlone Tonnta were on hand to do face painting for all and sundry, and never were so many Frozen princesses to be seen in one place! One of the highlights of the face painting was a beautiful "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer", literally drawn on a nose!
With lost of food, drinks and fun-and-games on offer, great excitement built up while waiting for the great man himself to appear. And, on cue, Santa himself arrived, and led the assembled kids in a rousing rendition of some Christmas carols. As the kids all queued to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas, Santa's elves took notes in his great book, so that nothing would be forgotten on Christmas Eve. All of the kids got a little gift from Santa as they left.
As always, huge thanks to all who helped with the organisation of the evening, to the elves, Brian the DJ, all of the parents who helped out with serving tea/coffee and tried to control the (organised) chaos in the hall, those who looked after the queue to Santa, those who took the photographs, and all the other jobs, big and small, that needed to be done. Special thanks to all who helped to decorate the hall, and Santa's grotto, it is fair to say that Garrycastle hall never looked so well.
And last, but most definitely not least, to Santa (also known as our club chairman), for his cheerfulness, and patience, in dealing with a very large crowd of excited children.
Happy Christmas to one and all, and we'll see everyone again in the new year!
Under-8 Challenge v. St. Vincents (Dublin), November 23rd
As a fore-runner to the Leinster Senior Club championship match between St. Vincents of Dublin, and Garrycastle, the St. Vincents club kindly invited our under-8 squad to Dublin to play a few challenge matches before the big game. Even though the weather on the day was near perfect, blue skies and sunshine all the way, the challenge games were played on the Dublin All-Weather pitches on the Clontarf road, as the St. Vincents pitches themselves were closed due to the recent bad weather.
The under-8 group assembled early Sunday morning in Garrycastle, and headed off by bus to the capital. On the day, 21 players were available, and we divided them up into three teams, with each team playing two matches against their counterparts from St. Vincents. Playing Gaelic Football on astroturf was a new experience for this group, but it didn't faze them in the slightest, and in all, 6 great games were served up to the watching crowd, with honours even between the two clubs.
After the matches, the St. Vincents club kindly provided a great feast for the players back in the St. Vincents clubhouse, as well as face-painting the club colours for the players before the big game. After a huge feed, the players and parents made the short walk across the Malahide Road to Parnell Park for the Leinster Semi-Final, and cheered their hearts out for the Garrycastle team. Unfortunately the result did not go Garrycastle's way, but that is sport, for every match winner, someone also has to lose.
After the game, the players made their way back to the bus and returned home to Garrycastle, a very tired, but very happy bunch!
Absolutely huge thanks are due to Cathal O'Daly and the St. Vincents GAA Club for extending the invitation to travel, and their absolutely excellent hospitality on the day. Days like these are what the GAA is all about. Thanks also to the mentors and parents for making the trip - it really does make a huge difference to have the support.
Lots of pictures from the day, courtesy of Des McEnery:
Squad on the day:
Niadh Shine, Brandon Devaney, Nathan McKeon, Daniel Sierpinski, Jack Allen, Nathan Kelly, Tom Sheehan, Sean O'Donoghue, Rian Gaynor, Kyle Greene, Dean Grehan, Oisin Deehan, Andrew Henson, Darragh Glennon, Oisin O'Donoghue, Van McCay, James McHugh, Thanh McCay, Aaron Keegan, Louie Shine, Anthony Mannion.
Under-8 End-of-Year Party, November 10th
The Garrycastle Under-8 group headed off on Monday evening to The Planet on Grace Road for our annual end-of-year party. This is our way, as a club, to say a huge "Thank You!" to all the young players who turn out every week for training and matches.
This year we had 10-pin bowling, Quasar (laser tag), and much more on offer for the players, followed up with some tasty food and drinks, and some thankfully short comments by the team mentors for the last year.
When we planned this evening out, it was intended to be our final event for 2014 with this group, but now we have one more (at least!) day out! Our senior team play St. Vincents of Dublin in the Leinster Senior Club Football Semi-final on Sunday November 23rd, and St. Vincents have kindly invitied our under-8 squad to travel up to them and play a few challenge games before the big match. Needless to say, we accepted!
This has been a very busy year for the Under-8 group. By our count, to date this group has played 74 matches, allowing any one player to take part in 36 matches this year, spread across County Blitzes, Challenge games, and Street Leagues. We have played challenges against teams from Westmeath, Roscommon and Offaly, home and away, and this has given every player ample opportunity to test out their skills. This is a phenomenal anount of football for players at this age group, and can only stand to them as they progress upwards through the age groups.
None of this would be possible without huge support from the Garrycastle club, and from the mentors who help out at training and matches during the year. Special mention to Ger for the excellent coaching drills, Chris, Lorraine, Darragh, Karl and Des for running the training drills, and looking after the teams on match days. And a special mention to Des for the great photos of blitzes and matches during the year, which are linked elsewhere on this page.
Huge thanks also to the parents and grandparents who bring the lads to training and matches, and who provide excellent support from the sidelines. We have said it often over the years, but it is as true now as ever, that without this briliant support, we simply would not be able to continue.
Well done to all who played and trained with us this year, and the best of luck to those players moving up to the under-10 squad next year.
Our indoor sessions will start on Monday November 17th in the clubhouse, and details on times will be texted to all parents as usual.
William Leahy, November 15th, 2014.
Under-8 Challenge v. Doon/Pullough, October 10th
The Garrycastle Under-8 group finished off their football year in style in Garrycastle on Friday evening, with challenge matches against Doon/Pullough from county Offaly. Playing under lights on a cold autumns evening, 27 of the under-8 squad were available, allowing us to field 2 teams, each team playing two matches against their counterparts from Doon/Pullough.
This was our first time to welcome our neighbours from across the county bounds to Garrycastle, and 4 excellent skillful games of football were served up to an appreciative crowd of parents and grandparents. In the absence of many of our under-8 players, it also gave an opportunity for some of our up-and-coming under-6 players to take to the field and show what they could do - and they sure stepped up to the mark in style.
It is extremely heartening to see the development in many of these young players over the last 8 months or so. Their ability to play and enjoy football has grown immensely, and certainly the older players can look forward with confidence to their under-10 football next year.
Congratulations to Paddy Galvin and Darragh Glennon, making their home debuts in the green and red colours - sure to be just the first of many appearances for the club in the coming years.
Many thanks to Paul, Diarmuid and all the other mentors from Doon/Pullough for travelling in to us, and for providing excellent,sporting games of football. We look forward to more interaction with them in the coming year.
As mentioned, this was our final outing of the year, (although we are working on one special "final" outing - details later). We will take a break for the remainder of October, and resume with our winter indoor schedule in early November.
Squad on the evening:
Red Team: Van McCay, Keelan Ward, Conor Deeney, Sean Galvin, Paddy Galvin, Darragh Glennon, Rian Gaynor, Callum Hudson, Tom Sheehan, Jack Allen, Dylan Frawley, Niadh Shine, Cian Norris, Dean Grehan.
Green Team: Evan McMickan, Cristian Turean, Sean O'Donoghue, Nathan McKeon, Brandon Devaney, Anthony Mannion, Daniel Sierpinski, James McHugh, Aaron Keegan, Alex Conner, Rory McMickan, Louie Shine, Oisin O'Donoghue.
Under-8 Challenge in Athlone, October 2nd
The Garrycastle Under-8 group made the short trip to Athlone GAA on Thursday evening to play a couple of challenge games under lights.
A great turnout on the evening saw us field more that 30 players at this grade, allowing us to field 2 teams at under-8 grade, and the majority of an under-6 team to play against the Athlone GAA Academy group.
This was an absolutely fantastic turnout from this group at the end of the football year, and they played with great enthusiasm and no little skill. At the end of the evening it was honours even for both clubs with two wins apiece.
Many thanks to Martin, David and Gearoid for a great evenings football, and for the welcome refreshments at the end of the games.
From the Garrycastle side, huge thanks to all of the parents who turned out to cheer on the teams on the evening - it really does make a huge difference.
Squad on the evening:
Niadh Shine, Dylan Frawley, Adrian Kempa, Daniel Sierpinski, Nathan McKeon, Anthony Mannion, Callum Hudson, Cian Norris, Jack Allen, Brandon Devaney, Oisin Deehan, Kyle Greene, Sean O'Donoghue, Jonathan Flannery, Jazmen Rafiz, Cristian Turean, Dervla Turley, Sean Galvin, David Carter, Killian Keegan, Keelan Ward, James McHugh, Aaron Keegan, Andrew Henson, Dean Grehan, Alex Conner, Rian Gaynor, Evan Leonard.
Under-8 Blitz in Moate, September 14th
The Garrycastle Under-8 group travelled to Moate on Sunday morning to take part in an Under-8 blitz, organised by the Moate All-Whites club, as part of a wider fundraising effort for Conor Dufficy, a member of the Moate All-Whites under-8 squad who lost a leg in an accident earlier in the summer. Garrycastle were missing quite a few of their under-8 players due to other committments, but still fielded a squad of 22 players on the morning, allowing us to play two teams. This allowed many of the under-7 and some of the under-6 group to show what they could do, and they stepped up to the mark in style!
In the blitz itself, the Garrycastle "Green" team playes against the Moate All-Whites and Coralstown/Kinnegad teams in their two matches, while the Garrycastle "Red" team played against Caulry and St. Josephs/Kilbeggan in their two games. To finish, we had a shorter game against a combined Moate All-Whites team with a combined Garrycastle team. Needless to say, everyone got plenty of chances to play football on a beautiful Sunday morning.
All the players played with huge energy and enthusiasm on the morning, and took some fantastic scores during the games. In addition, there was some excellent general play, where the emphasis in training on tackling and blocking is starting to pay off.
Welcome back to Sean Galvin and Dervla Turley after the summer break, and well done to Evan Turley and Finnian Turley making their competitive debuts in the Green and red colours.
Squad on the day:
Keelan Ward, Aaron Keegan, Nathan McKeon, Brandon Devaney, Jack Allen, Oisin Deehan, Sean O'Donoghue, Tom Sheehan, Andrew Henson, Daniel Sierpinski, Callum Hudson, Dervla Turley, Evan Turley, Conor McCormack, Finnian Turley, Sean Galvin, Dean Grehan, Van McCay, James McHugh, Alex Conner, Cristian Turean, Oisin O'Donoghue.
Under-8 County Blitz in Tang, September 6th
The Garrycastle Under-8 group travelled to Tang on Saturday, to take part in the final round round of Under-8 county-organised football blitzes for 2014. On a beautiful morning for football, an absolutely fantastic turnout of 28 of the youngest players in the club, ensured that we were able to comfortably field two teams in the blitz, with each team playing two matches.
The Garrycastle "Green" team played their counterparts from Caulry in the first round, and Moate All-Whites in the second round of matches. In both matches, the Garrycastle team just edged out their opponents. The Garrycastle "Red" team played against Maryland/Tang in a thrilling match in thei first round, which ended in a draw (which was a fair result for both teams), and driven on from the middle of the field by Andrew Henson, Tom Sheehan and Jack Allen, were a little too strong for Caulry in the second round of matches.
All of the matches were characterised by very high levels of skill, in terms of fielding the ball, solo-ing with the ball, tackling when not in possession, and a number of very well executed blocks, of which one in particular by Aaron Keegan, gets a special mention! There were some excellent scores also, in all of the games, taken with no little composure, even for such young players. It is unlikely that even if Dessie Dolan was eligible to play at this age grade, that he would be an automatic starter!
As the year has progressed, it is evident that all of the effort put in by this group of players in training is paying off, and their ability to play and enjoy their football has increased hugely.
Welcome back to all the players who were away during the Summer, (Callum, Leo, and Gearoid)!
Many thanks also to all of the parents for supporting the teams in a great sporting manner - it really makes a difference to have the positive envouragement from the sideline. Thanks as always to the mentors and coaches for looking after the teams on the day, and ensuring that all of the playrers present got to play their part in all of the matches.
Slideshow form the day (thanks to Des McEnery for all of the photos) :
Squad on the Day:
Brandon Devaney, Tom Sheehan, Jack Allen, Rian Gaynor, Niadh Shine, Gearoid McCarthy, Kyle Greene, Callum Hudson, Dylan Frawley, Oisin Deehan, Aaron Keegan, Andrew Henson, Dean Grehan, Keelan Ward, Evan Turley, David Carter, Daniel Sierpinski, Nathan Kelly, Nathan McKeon, Sean O'Donoghue, Leo Nolan, Cian Norris, Van McCay, Evan McMickan, Conor McCormack, Anthony Mannion, James McHugh, Oisin O'Donoghue.
Under-8 Challenge vs. Athlone, Sunday August 31st
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad invited their near neighbours from Athlone GAA in to Garrycastle on Sunday morning for a couple of challenge games as we continue to prepare for the final round of county under-8 blitzes at the end of next week. In contrast to our last challenge games on Thursday, this time the weather was fine and dry, and provided perfect conditions for football.
As the school holidays are now finished, this was a great opportunity for many of the players who have been away over the summer to come back playing football, and indeed, we had 25 players available on the morning - an excellent turnout.
As usual now, we divided into two equal squads and each team played their counterparts froom Athlone in two matches.
In the first round of matches, the Garrycastle "green" team were a little too strong for their Athlone counterparts, while the Garrycastle "red" team played an excellent draw with the lads in blue-and-white. In the second round of games, the roles were reversed, with "green" team playing out a thrilling draw, while the "red" team pulled out all the stops to finish slightly stronger than their opponents.
All of the players on the morning were treated to some snacks at the end, in recognition of the efforts put in by all the players present from both clubs.
Many thanks to Martin, Peter and the other mentors and players from Athlone for coming in to play us, and as always to our own mentiors, paraent and players for the effort put in on the morning. Special thanks to Derek (making his refereeing debut!) and Liam for refereeing the matches.
Squad on the day:
Adrian Kempa, Nathan McKeon, Tom Sheehan, Nathan Kelly, Jack Allen, David Carter, Van McCay, Evan Turley, James McHugh, Rian Gaynor, Anthony Mannion, Conor McCormack, Cian Norris, Daniel Sierpinski, Brandon Devaney, Christian Turean, Gearoid McCarthy, Sean O'Donoghue, Kyle Greene, Aaron Keegan, Oisin O'Donoghue, Niadh Shine, Dean Grehan, Andrew Henson, Killian Keegan.
Under-8 Challenge vs. Padraig Pearses, Thursday August 28th
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad invited their counterparts from Padraig Pearses GAA club in to Garrycastle on Thursday evening, to return the challenge where we travelled to Roscommon last month. It is fair to say the weather was not kind, with strong wind and heavy rain before, during and after the matches. However, even allowing for the poor conditions, both clubs fielded large squads, allowing two teams form each club to play each other over a series of 4 matches.
On the evening, Garrycastle fielded a squad of 23 players - an excellent turnout from the youngest team in the club. And, even with the very poor conditions, both clubs served up 4 excellent games of football, especially notable for the fine fielding, on an evening when everything (even the referees) was very, very wet. From a Garrycastle viewpoint, it was nice to welcome back some players (Sean, Oisin) from their summer abroad, and see that they haven't forgotten how to play football!
It was really impressive to see the skill levels exhibited by this young group of players, who gave their all in overcoming the bad weather conditions, and served up excellent displays of passing, tackling, scoring and blocking. Indeed, as the weather steadily worsened, their play seemed to improve!
Huge thanks are due to the Pearses players and mentors for travelling on such a poor evening, and of course also to our own players, parents and mentors from Garrycastle for attending. Next year, we'll try and do this in June or July (although that doesn't necessarily mean the weather will be any better!).
Squad on the evening:
Christian Turean, Daniel Sierpinski, Sean O'Donoghue, Kyle Greene, Cian Norris, Niadh Shine, Brandon Devaney, Killian Keegan, Andrew Henson, Oisin O'Donoghue, Aaron Keegan, Alex Conner, Adrian Kempa, Anthony Mannion, Oisin Deehan, James McHugh, Van McCay, Jonathan Flannery, Moya McKiernan, Jack Allen, Nathan McKeon, Tom Sheehan, Rian Gaynor.
Under-8 County Blitz in Moate, August 9th
The Garrycastle Under-8 group travelled to the new Moate All-Whites pitch on Saturday, to take part in the latest round of Under-8 county blitzes. On the day, besides the home team and Garrycastle, there were also teams present from Tubberclair, Maryland/Tang and Millmore Gaels.
Even though August should be considered the height of summer, on arrival in Moate we were greeted with a torrential downpour! However, even allowing for the poor weather, and the absence of a large number of players on summer holidays, we were able to field 18 players and two teams for the blitz.
The first team played against the counterparts from the Moate All-Whites and Tubberclair in their 2 matches, resulting in a win against Moate, and a hard-earned draw against Tubberclair. The second team had a tougher time of it, coming out second best to the second Moate All-Whites team in their first game, and Millmore Gaels in the second match.
Overall, this was another reasonable performance from the clubs youngest players. Very well done to all who turned out on the morning, and represented their club with great enthusiasm. Special congratulations to Cristian Turean on making his debut in the red-and-green shirt - hopefully just the first of many to come.
Many thanks also to Micheal and his team in Moate for an excellently run blitz, on an absolutely fantastic pitch for playing football.
Squad on the day:
Daniel Sierpinski, Kyle Grenne, Evan McMickan, Brandon Devaney, Cristian Turean, Dean Grehan, Anthony Mannion, Rory McMickan, Aaron Keegan, Rian Gaynor, Cian Norris, Niadh Shine, Nathan McKeon, David Carter, Van McCay, Dylan Frawley, James McHugh, Oisin Deehan.
Under-8 Challenge vs. Padraig Pearses, Monday July 14th
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad headed west across the Shannon once more on Monday evening to play a couple of challenge matches against their counterparts from the Padraig Pearses GAA club near Ballinasloe. Even with the summer holidays, and with many of the players taking part in the GAA Cul Camps in Garrycastle this week, a panel of 19 players made the trip, allowing us to field two teams on the evening.
Two great games of football were served up, with the Garrycastle teams being very competitive in both games. It is especially heartening to see that all of the effort put into training is paying off, with some excellent displays in attack and defense. Some lovely forward interplay led to lots of well taken scores, especially points. While at the back, there was equally good effort in blocking and tackling, to minimise the number of scoring chances.
A special mention goes to Daniel Sierpinski, playing his very first game in the red-and-green colours, hopefully just the first of many such appearances in the future. And also, welcome back to Anthony Mannion, back to his best after a long absence due to injury.
Many thanks to Aidan, Padraig and the other mentors in Padraig Pearses, and we look forward to returning the challenge in Garrycastle in the next month or so.
Squad on the evening:
Rian Gaynor, Jack Allen, Tom Sheehan, Nathan Kelly, Oisin Deehan, Brandon Devaney, Cian Norris, Daniel Sierpinski, Kyle Greene, Anthony Mannion, Dean Greham, Killian Keegan, Keelan Ward, Conor McCormack, David Carter, James McHugh, Andrew Henson, Moya McKiernan, Dylan Frawley.
Under-8 County Blitz in Garrycastle, July 5th
On Saturday it was Garrycastle's turn to host a round of the County Under-8 blitzes. On the day we had teams from Maryland/Tang, Millmore Gaels, Moate All-Whites and Tubberclair in attendance. On what started and finished as a lovely fine morning, with a huge downpour in between, the numbers of players available were reduced due to so many people starting their summer holidays. However, as usual, we had a good turnout from the Garrycastle players, with 25 players available on the morning, allowing us to field 2 teams.
In the first round of matches, the Garrycastle teams lined up against Maryland/Tang and Moate All-Whites.The match against Maryland/Tang started well for Garrycastle, who built up a decent lead heading towards half-time. As the second half progressed Maryland/Tang came back into the game and levelled the scores just on full-time. The match against against the Moate All-Whites was a much harder affair for the Garrycastle team, who started slowly and found themselves chasing the game. Despite a huge effort, they could not get the scores needed and the Moate All-Whites team took the win.
[All pictures courtesy Des McEnery]
In the second round of matches, Garrycastle lined up against Millmore Gaels and Tubberclair. In the Millmore Gaels match, Garrycastle took an ealy lead, and despite a spirited fightback by Millmore Gaels, held the lead right to the end. In the second match, a real ding-dong battle saw the lead change hands several times before the game ended on a draw, which was the fairest result for both teams.
Overall, this was another good performance from the clubs youngest players. Well done to all who turned out on the morning, and represented their club with great enthusiasm. Special congratulations to Adrian Kempa on making his debut in the red-and-green shirt.
Huge thanks to Ger, Chris and Darragh for managing the teams on the morning, and to Garrycastle u16 and minor players Liam, Shane, Brian and Caolan for refereeing the matches.
Squad on the day:
Adrian Kempa, Evan Leonard, Oisin Deehan, David Carter, Conor McCormack, Callum Hudson, Brandon Devaney, Gearoid McCarthy, Rory McMickan, Dylan Frawley, Van McCay, Aaron Keegan, Kealan McNamara, Nathan McKeon, Kyle Greene, Rian Gaynor, Killian Keegan, Niadh Shine, Tom Sheehan, Evan McMickan, Leo Nolan, Matthew Hardiman, Keelan Ward, Dean Grehan, Evan Turley, Alex Conner.
Under-8 County Blitz in Cusack Park, June 16th
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad headed off to Cusack Park on Monday evening, to take place in the latest round of County-organised blitzes, this time in conjunction with the Destination Sport initiative in Mullingar. This is a great opportunity for our younger players to play on the County ground, where some of their parents have represented the club with great distinction over the years. It is also something of a learning exercise, as all clubs in the county take part, we normally get to play against teams not usually encountered in South Westmeath.
On perhaps the warmest evening of the year so far, 21 players made themselves available, and as a result Garrycastle fielded two teams, each playing two matches.
In the first round of matches, the Garrycastle Red and Green teams played their counterparts from The Downs. The Red team got off to a great start, and led their match from start to finish. The Green team had a much tougher encounter, but gave their all, and after an enthralling game of football, the teams could not be separated, and the match finished all-square.
In the second round of matches, the Garrycastle Red team took on Rosemount, while the Green team played the second team from The Downs. In both games the Garrycastle team took the lead from the start, held their lead right until the end. Both teams played some lovely fluid football, using the available space to good effect, and never letting the opposition settle on the ball.
All in all, a very successful trip for this young squad. All players who attended played their part in both games, and can take great pride in their skill levels, and their sportsmanship. After the matches, all of the players got the opportunity to hoist the Flanagan trophy high from the presentation area, hopefully something they will replicate at many grades over the coming years.
Thanks to Des McEnery for all of the photographs.
Present on the night:
Cian Norris, Andrew Henson, Niadh Shine, Oisin Deehan, James McHugh, Sean O'Donoghue, Oisin O'Donoghue, Matthew Hardiman, Brandon Devaney, Jack Allen, Kealan McNamara, Van McCay, Aaron Keegan, David Carter, Jonathan Flannery, Killian Keegan, Rian Gaynor, Conor McCormack, Dean Grehan, Nathan McKeon, Kyle Greene.
Summer Street League - Finals, Sunday June 15th
The summer street league reached it's final stage on Sunday morning in Garrycastle, with the playing of the cup and shield finals. On a lovely dry, cool, morning, 37 players turned out for their respective teams, and provided an excellent mornings football, cheered on by a large appreciative crowd.
In the Cup final, it was Lorraine Gaynor's "Dragons" up against the form team of the tournament so far, Ger O'Donoghue's "Lions". This game started at a frentic pace, with the "Lions" pushing hard right from the start and tacking up a number of early scores. However, as half-time approached, the "Dragons" fought back into the game to narrow the gap. As the second half started, it was obvious that the "Lions" were in no humour to give up the game, and despite their best efforts, the "Dragons" had to yield on the day.
In the Shield final, Darragh Shine's "Tigers" lined up against Chris McKeon's "Sharks". This really was an evenly matched affair, with some really good attacking and defending on display. So close were the two teams that they could not be separated at the end of the match, and for the first time ever, we had extra time in a street league final! However, even after playing the extra time, the teams still could not be separated, so a second period of extra time was played. Just when we thought that we would have to go to a "golden score" to separate the teams, the "Tigers" struck, to take the Shield honours, after an absolutely enthralling game.
So the Cup honours for 2014 go to the "Lions", with the "Tigers" taking the Shield honours.
After the games, the teams were congratulated on their effort and performances by club Chairman Terry Larkin, and were all presented with their trophies by Senior Garrycastle players John Gaffey and Padraig Cosgrove.
This ends our Summer Street League for 2014. Well done to all the players who took part, to the mentors and parents who looked after the teams, and many thanks to all those who turned out to cheer on the teams over the last month.
Huge thanks also to Des McEnery for all of the photographs!
Details of teams, matches to date and final table is available on the Summer Street League page.
Teams on the day:
Lions: Tom Sheehan, Adrian Kempa, Sean O'Donoghue, Cian Norris, Kealan McNamara, Oisin O'Donoghue, Dylan Frawley, Aaron Keegan, Alex Connor.
Dragons: Gearoid McCarthy, Jack Allen, Leo Nolan, Rian Gaynor, Jonathan Flannery, Oisin Deehan, James McHugh, Keelan Ward, Conor McCormack.
Tigers: Brandon Devaney, David Carter, Harry Daniel, Killian Keegan, Nathan Kelly, Jazmen Rafiz, Niadh Shine, Van McCay, Craig Walsh, Conor Deeney.
Sharks: Callum Hudson, Kyle Greene, Matthew Hardiman, Nathan McKeon, Dervla Turley, Evan Turley, Conor McCormack, Andrew Henson, Dean Greham.
Summer Street League - Play-off round, Wednesday June 11th
After the 6 rounds of this years Summer Street League, the Lions, (managed by Ger O'Donoghue) had qualified for the Street League Cup final. Tied together on the same number of points after the games to date, a play-off was needed between the Dragons (led by Lorraine Gaynor) and the Sharks, (led by Chris McKeon) to see who would face the Lions in the cup final, and who would face the Tigers in the Shield final.
So there was much to play for as the Sharks and the Dragons faced-off on Wednesday evening. With both squads practically at full strength, a great game of football was served up to an appreciative crowd. For long periods of this game, there was nothing to choose between the teams until the Dragons eventually pullled away with a very strong finish to take the honours on the evening.
So now the final pairing for this years Street league is settled:
In the Summer Street League Cup final, the Lions will play the Dragons.
In the Summer Street League Shield final, the Tigers will play the Sharks.
The Summer Street league finals will be held on Sunday, June 15th, starting at 12:00 noon, on the main pitch in Garrycastle.
Details of teams, matches to date and final table is available on the Summer Street League page.
Under-8 Challenge vs. St. Brigids, Saturday June 7th
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad headed west across the Shannon on Saturday morning for a series of challenge matches against St. Brigids in Kiltoom, Co. Roscommon. On a nice morning for football, 21 players made the trip, our numbers somewhat depleted due to First Communions and Community Games finals.
The available players were divided up into 3 teams, with each team playing a match of 3 "halves", to give everyone a good mornings football. The Garrycastle group continued with their excellent form this year, competitive in all of the matches, and playing some excellent football.
It is very heartening to see the development that this group is making on a week-by-week basis, with some great tackling, handpassing and kicking on view.
Indeed, our major weakness at the moment is perhaps some wayward shooting, but it is good to see that the opportunites are being created for scores, and the shooting will improve with time - we hope!
Many thanks to Dominic, Sean and all the mentors in St. Brigids for a fine mornings football, and for the very welcome refreshments at the end of the matches.
A special word of thanks to all of the players for turning out, for the huge enthusiasm they showed, and the level of effort they put in, and to the parents for driving them of course! Also, many thanks to Chris, Karl, Darragh and Lorraine for managing the teams on the morning.
Squad on the day:
Brandon Devaney, Gearoid McCarthy, Rian Gaynor, Killian Keegan, Aaron Keegan, Dean Grehan, David Carter, Leo Nolan, Nathan Kelly, Nathan McKeon, Ryan Carberry, Matthew Hardiman, Moya McKiernan, Van McCay, Tom Sheehan, Cian Norris, Jack Allen, Niadh Shine, Andrew Henson, James McHugh, Callum Hudson.
Summer Street League - Rounds 5+6, Wednesday June 4th
The weather wasn't the best, but there was some great exciting football served up by the under-8 summer street league teams on Wednesday evening in Garrycastle. The first game in round 5 was a thrilling affair between the Sharks, looking to bounce back from the previous week, and a Tigers team looking to add another win. This game was real end-to-end footbal, with neither team dominating, and the Sharks eventually won by the narrowest of margins. In the second game in Round 5, the Lions suffered their first defeat of the league, losing out to a very determined Dragons team.
Round 6 was to be equally close. In the fist game, the Tigers suffered another defeat by a 1-score margin, this time to a relieved Lions outfit, after playing some excellent football, let down by some wayward shooting. The other match betwen the Sharks and Dragons was equally close, with the Sharks eventually winning out.
So, with 6 rounds played, the Lions still sit atop the table, but cannot sit on their laurels just yet, as a resurgent Sharks team is closing the gap at the top.
Full details of the teams, results to date, and the league table on the Summer Street League page.
Summer Street League - Rounds 3+4, Wednesday May 28th
The Under-8 Summer Street league continued in brilliant sunshine on Wednesday evening in Garrycastle. All four teams in this years street league battled hard for the bragging rights in school during the week. The Lions, leading the way from the first round, were in no mood to led their advantage slip, and turned in two excellent performances with wins over the Tigers and the Sharks. Already it looks like the Lions will be the team to beat in this years league.
In the other games, the Tigers registered thir first win of the league with a hard fought win by a single score over the Dragons. This was an excellent game of end-to-end football, characterised by much skillful football, with great examples of passing and catching from both teams. Only some wayward shooting kept the scores down, but in the end the Tigers just about merited the win.
Elsewhere, the Dragons had a reasonably comfortable win over the Sharks, who were down a couple of players on the evening. The Sharks as mentioned were unable to halt the march of the Lions in their final game.
So, after 4 rounds of the this years Summer Street League, it is the Lions who sit atop the table. However, there is a lot of football to play yet, so the positions may well change before the finals day.
Full details of the teams, results to date, and the league table on the Summer Street League page.
Under-8 County Blitz in Caulry, May 24th
The Garrycastle under-8 squad travelled the short distance to Caulry on Saturday morning to participate in the latest round of the Westmeath County Under-8 blitzes. On a very miserable wet morning, 22 players made the trip allowing Garrycastle to field two teams on the day. Each team played two matches, and altogether we played Caulry, Maryland/Tang and Athlone.
In the first round of games, Garrycastle played against near neighbours Athlone and Caulry, emerging successful in both matches. In the second round of games, we played Maryland/Tang with a similar outcome.
Overall, this was another encouraging set of displays from this age group. The focus on the basics of the game is starting to show dividends, with some excellent catching, blocking and tackling on display. This was also the first match for Garrycastle for four players, Kealan McNamara, Callum Hudson, Harry Daniel and Ryan Carberry, and hopefully it will just be the first of many such appearances for all of them in the green-and-red colours.
Well done to all who attended and played with such enthusuiasm and effort on the morning.
Squad on the day:
Cian Norris, Sean O'Donoghue, Andrew Henson, Niadh Shine, Tom Sheehan, Oisin Deehan, James McHugh, Evan Turley, Harry Daniel, Callum Hudson, Gearoid McCarthy, Brandon Devaney, Jack Allen, Kealan McNamara, Aaron Keegan, Kyle Greene, Dylan Frawley, Oisin O'Donoghue, Rian Gaynor, Dean Grehan, Ryan Carberry, Van McCay.
Summer Street League - Rounds 1+2, Wednesday May 21st
The Under-8 Summer Street league got off to a flying start in Garrycastle on Wednesday evening in glorious sunshine. The four teams served up a feast of excellent football, in front of an appreciative crowd.
At this early stage, it is the Ger o'Donoghue's Lions who lead the way, with two fine wins, although they were pushed to the limit in a thrilling game with Chris McKeon's Sharks team in round-1, winning by a single score. In the other round-1 game, Lorriane Gaynor's Dragons were too strong for the Tigers, who were missing a number of players due to involvement in the county Cumann na Bunscoil finals in Mullngar.
Round-2 saw the Lions continue their fine start with a win over the Dragons, while the Sharks were too strong for the Tigers in the other match.
Rounds 3 + 4 of the league will be held next Wednesday. Details of teams, results and the up-to-date league table can be seen on the Summer Street league webpage.
Under-8 County Blitz in Tubberclair, May 3rd
The Garrycastle Under-8 squad travelled to near neighbours Tubberclair on Saturday, to take part in the first under-8 county blitz of the year, alongside teams from the host club, Athlone, Castledaly, Caulry and Maryland/Tang.
Due to confirmations, and the bank holiday weekend, we had a reduced panel available, but still had 24 players make the trip, allowing three teams to be fielded on the day, with each team playing two matches.
The first Garrycastle team, managed on the day by Ger O'Donoghue, played against Athlone and Tubberclair, and was successful in both games. Not to be outdone, the second Garrycastle team, managed on the day by Karl Henson, played against Maryland/Tang and Caulry, and also was successful in both games.
The third Garrycastle team, managed on the day by Lorraine Gaynor, played against the second teams from Tubberclair and Caulry, winning against Tubberclair in the first game, while narrowly losing against Caulry in the second game.
Overall, a great display by this young Garrycastle squad. Some great positives can be taken from the day - we are seeing much improved skill from this group, especially in the pick-up, and hand-passing, as well as some fantastic tackling and marking.
Well done to all who attended and represented their club with such distinction. Many thanks to Ger, Karl and Lorraine for managing the teams on the day.
Many thanks also to Adrian and all in Tubberclair for a well-organised and run blitz.
Present on the day: Oisin Deehan, Evan McMickan, Andrew Henson, Dean Greham, Sean O'Donoghue, Rory McMickan, Oisin O'Donoghue, Kyle Greene, Jack Allen, Niadh Shine, Rian Gaynor, Sean Galvin, Dylan Frawley, Moya McKiernan, Nathan Kelly, Tom Sheehan, Brandon Devaney, Leo Nolan, Cian Norris, Aaron Keegan, Craig Walsh, James McHugh, Evan Turley, Evan Leonard.
The following is a slideshow showing some of the highlights of the day.
Under-8 Challenge matches v. Tubberclair, April 12th
Our under-8 group travelled to Tubberclair on Saturday morning for two challenge matches. On a morning that started grey and wet, 24 players were available to make the short trip, and all played their part in two excellent games of football.
Each game was 8-a-side, and in order to give every player the opportunity to play, each match was made up of 3 10-minutes "halves". Some excellent football was on show, and it was heartening to see great tackling and blocking on display, showing that some of the training from recent weeks is making it's presence felt.
Well done to all who travelled, and turned up in their Garrycastle togs and sock - all part of building a team group.
Present on the day: Moya McKiernan, Oisin O'Donoghue, Lee McDonald, Gearoid McCarthy, Oisin Deehan, Sean O'Donoghue, Brandon Devaney, Van McCay, James McHugh, Adam Lennon, Evan Turley, Conor Deeney, Cian Norris, Niadh Shine, Tom Sheehan, Jessica Frawley, Dean Greham, Nathan McKeon, Evan Leonard, Dervla Turley, Dylan Frawley, Andrew Henson, Keelan Ward, Aaron Keegan.
Under-8 Challenge matches v. St. Brigids, March 22nd
Another year begins, and we welcomed St. Brigids from Kiltoom to Garrycastle on Saturday morning for a series of challenge games at under-8 level. This was our first outing of the year, and it was extremely heartening to see an impressive turnout of 29 players on the morning, which allowed us to play three teams in parallel, and let all of the players play in two matches.
Present on the day: Sean O'Donoghue, Jack Allen, Niadh Shine, Kyle Greene, Andrew Henson, David Carter, James McHugh, Oisin Deehan, Brandon Devaney, Jonathan Flannery, Nathan Kelly, Cian Norris, Nathan McKeon, Anthony Mannion, Aaron Keegan, Adam Lennon, Dean Greham, Rian Gaynor, Matthew Reynolds, Oisin O'Donoghue, Matthew Hardiman, Evan Leonard, Conor Deeney, Dervla Turley, Sean Galvin, Alex Kelly, Craig Walsh, Evan Turley, Van McCay.
St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014
We had a great turnout of our younger players for the St. Patrick's day parade in Athlone today. Below is a flavour of the event, (all pictures courtesy of Des McEnery).
A special word to our youngest players, for many of them their first time in a Garrycastle shirt, playing for the club.
Every great journey starts with a single step, and we hope this will be the first of many days for them in the Green-and-Red colours.
Well done to all who attended and played with great skill and effort on display, and to the great positive support from the sidelines - it makes a huge difference.
Huge thanks to Dominic and the players and mentors from St. Brigids for travelling in to play us, and we hope to return the favour later in the summer.
Well done to all who attended, and made their red-and-green flags for the occasion!
Under Under-8 and Beginner's Group Christmas party
Our annual children's Christmas party night for our Under-8 and nursery groups took place in Garrycastle GAA Hall on Wednesday Night (Dec. 18th). Despite a poor evening weather-wise, a huge turnout of nearly 100 of our youngest players, with their brothers and sisters attended to take part in the fun.
As the huge crowd gathered in the club house, they were entertained by Bozo the clown, dispensing balloon animals, hats and swords by the dozen, and face-painting provided by the ladies from Athlone Tonnta. With music, games and lots of food and drink on offer, the excitement built while awaiting the arrival of the great man himself.
As the lights dimmed, a loud "thump" on the roof of the clubhouse announced the arrival of Santa's sleigh, and sure enough the man in red appeared on the balcony to the delight of the kids present. To welcome him to the club, The two Sarahs, Denby and Jameson, led the assembled players in a rousing chorus of "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer", before Santa moved to his grotto, and a very long queue of children formed to meet with him, and pass on their Christmas wishes, all of which were noted carefully in Santa's ledger by his helpful elves, Sarah and Jordan.
Santa was a huge hit, taking lots of time with all of the children, and posing for literally hundreds of photos.
A great night was had by all, and we wish all of our young players, their parents, grandparents and brothers and sisters, and indeed all club members and followers, a Very Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year.
Hopefully, Santa remembers what he was asked for on Christmas Eve!
A huge mention must also go to all the people who helped with preparing the clubhouse for Santa's arrival, and who helped out on the night with dispensing tea, coffee, snacks etc., and who organised and made sense of the chaos on the night.
Special thanks to Sinead Denby, Katrina Jameson, Marie Leahy, Bernard Brannigan, Thomas Keena, Ger O'Donoghue, Mark Denby and Caolan Jameson for setting up and decorating the clubhouse and Santa's grotto.
Huge thanks to Mark Redmond, Noel Gardiner, Ger O'Donoghue, Chris Lennon, Sinead, Katrina and Marie for keeping calm and organising the chaos on the evening.
To the elves, Jordan Lennon, Liam Leahy, Caolan Jameson, and Mark Denby for keeping the queue in good spirits while everyone waitied to see Santa.
To Sarah Denby, Sarah Jameson and Ailish Mannion for some lovely singing during the evening.
To Anne-Marie Mannion for taking what seemed like hundreds of photos as the children met Santa.
And last, but most certainly not least, to Santa himself. Running both the North Pole and Garrycastle cannot be the easiest of jobs!
(Thanks to Anne-Marie Mannion for all of the photos!)
Under-8 and Beginner's Group end-of-year party
The Garrycastle Under-8 and Beginners football squads finished their football year on Wednesday evening (October 22nd), with an end-of-year party held in Krazy Kidz play centre in Blyry. As has been a feature with these age groups during the entire year, an absolutely fantastic turnout of 85 of the youngest players in the club led to a great time being had by all, with lots of fun and games, and assorted mayhem!
After play, some well deserved food, (healthy chips, chilcken nuggets and sausages), as well as huge volumes of blackcurrant and orange drink was made short work of by the hungry hordes.
After some brief speeches, including an inspirational call to arms by club chairman, Terry Larkin, each player was presented with their 2013 participation medal, with the presentation being made by Garrycastle and Westmeath senior player, Doron Harte. Never has one man been photographed so much!
From the coaches point of view, this has been a very successful year at this age level. We have never fielded less than two teams at any of the county organised under-8 blitzes, and have often fielded three teams. Reports on these blitzes, and on various challenge matches, may be found elsewhere on this page.
There are quite a few persons to thank, not least the coaches at this age group, Des, Ger, Lorraine, Chris, Michael, Stephen, and all others who helped out. A special word of thanks also to the minor players, Eoin, Liam, Sean C. and Sean K. who helped out during the year. Thanks also to Cornamaddy NS, and school principal Aidan Barry, for making the school pitch available to us, as pressure on the main Garrycastle pitch was proving difficult for us to get a consistent time there.
Last, but most certainly not least, huge thanks as always to the parent and grandparents who make the effort to bring the young players to training and matches. Without your support, the club would wither.
For some of the players, (those born in in 2006 and 2007), we will commence a trial of indoor training in Garrycastle GAA hall over the winter, held weekly on Wednesdays from 6:45pm to 7:30pm. Full details will be texted to the relevant parents in advance of the startup.
Onwards to 2014!
Under-8 and Beginners Challenge matches, Wednesday October 9th v. Tubberclair
Our last set of challenge matches for this year took place on Wednesday night, under lights in Garrycastle. An absolutely fantastic turnout of no less than 54 players, aged between 4 years of age and 8 years of age, allowed us to field three strong squads on the night, at under-8, under7/6, and beginners.
There was great competition in all of the matches, and given that some of the Garrycastle players travel to Tubberclair to attend school, there were bragging rights to be won for the following day in class!
For the beginners in particular, this was their first challenge match under lights, and they played with enthusiasm and some great skill against their near neightbours from Tubberclair. These are quite literally the youngest players in the club, and it was great to see them use the skills they have been practicing during the year, on the field. Let it be the first of many, many days playing football for Garrycastle!
Not to be outdone, the older under6/7 and under8 groups also played their hearts out in their respective matches. this group has literally gone from strength to strength this year, and are playing football that is lovely to watch, backed up by a steely determination to score!
Well done to all of those that took part on the night!
Under-8 Blitz, Saturday September 21st, in St. Malachys Ballinagore
Our final under-8 county blitz of the year took place on Saturday in St. Malachys Ballinagore. This was a relatively long journey on a Saturday morning for our under-8 squad, and on the day we had a smaller number than usual of players travelling, with 19 players making the trip.
As is usual we played two teams, one mostly at under-8 age group, and a younger team made up of under-7 and under-6 players. We played a total of 4 matches against the host club St. Malachys, St. Marys from Rochfortbridge, and Tubberclair. In all 4 matches, the teams played with great enthusiasm, energy and skill, and represented themselves, their families and their club with great distinction. As has been the hallmark of our under-8 age group this year, both teams displayed great skill in kicking, tackling and blocking, and this must augur well for the underage structure in Garrycastle over the coming years.
Huge thanks to John and the other mentors in Ballinagore for an extremely well organised and well-run blitz, and for the very welcome refreshments served up to all the players at the end of the blitz.
This was the final county organised blitz for 2013 at this age level. Many thanks to Noel Delaney and Eddie Bouabbse for the overall organisation from the county level.
A special word of thanks to all the mentors, parents and grandparents who travelled today - it's great to see the support from the sideline at these blitzes, and it makes a huge difference to the players to get the encouragement from the sideline.
As mentioned, this was the final under-8 blitz this year. We are in the process of organising some challenge matches to close off the outdoor part of the year. Details on the indoor program will be sent around in a couple of weeks time.
Under-8 Challenge, Wednesday September 11th, in Moate
Our Under-8 squad travelled to neighbours Moate All-Whites on Wednesday evening for an under-8 challenge game. An excellent turnout of 28 players on the evening allowed us to field 3 teams, 2 at under-8 level and one at under-6 level.
All three teams played excellent football, under lights for the second half, which was a new experience for most of these young players. After enjoyable games of football, a tired but happy group of players returned to Garrycastle.
Huge thanks to Derek, John and the lads in Moate for an excellently organised challenge.
Thanks also to the players for turning up on a dampish evening and for their enthusiasm, effort and no mean skill in the matches.
Not forgetting the parents of course!, for providing the transport, and cheering on their young stars-in-the-making.
Under-8 Blitz, Saturday September 7th, in Tubberclair
In marked contrast to the fantastic weather we have enjoyed at the county under-8 football blitzes up to now, it was a cold and damp Saturday morning as the Garrycastle Under-8 squad headed off to near neighbours Tubberclair to take part in the latest county sponsored Under-8 blitz.
Nonetheless, 27 players made the trip, allowing us to field two teams as usual, and play matches against the host club, Castledaly, and St. Josephs from Killbeggan.
Both teams acquitted themselves in some style, with some excellent fielding and defending on display, and some great goalkeeping from both goalkeepers. Up front, excitement took over on occasions when perhaps the simpler option would have been better, but that is all part of learning to play Gaelic football. All-in-all, this group of players is showing great improvements in skill levels, thanks in no small measure to the work being put in by Ger, Michael, Chris, Derek and all the trainers and mentors. The summer street league has also helped in getting game experience for this group.
As is the custom, Tubberclair GAA provided refreshments for all of the players after the matches, which were very gratefully received. A huge word of thanks also to all of the parents and supporters who cheered on their young heroes from the sidelines on a cold damp morning.
Our next outing in the County Blitz series will be on September 21st, in Ballinagore. Details will be texted to all parents closer to the date.
Summer Street League Finals day (Sunday August 25)
The Under-8 Summer Street League came to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday in Garrycastle, with the playing of the Shield and Cup finals. On a perfect afternoon for football, the teams started off with a parade behind the Athlone Marching Band, before talking their places for the big games.
In the shield final, the Town team took on the Retreat team, and after a closely fought game, the Town team just came out on top to win the Shield. In the Cup final, it was The Coosan team who emerged victorious after another hard fought game against Moydrum.
After the games, all of the players were presented with their trophies by Garrycastle and Westmeath senior ladies player Laura Brennan. It was a proud moment for the captain of the Shield winning team, Jack Allen to accept the shield on behalf of the Town team, and equally as proud a moment for the captain of the cup winning Coosan Team, Brian Mulvihill, to accept the cup on behalf of the Coosan team.
Details of teams, scores, etc. are on the Summer Street League page.
Photos below courtesy of Bernadine Gavin and Stewart McMickan.
Summer Street League (Update from July 24)
With 6 rounds of the Under-8 summer street league now played, it is the Coosan team who sit atop the league table, with a perfect record thus far. The Coosan team have led the table since the start of the league, and Chris Lennon's team do not look like giving up their position any time soon.
Things are much more even between the other three teams, all on equal points, with only score difference separating them at this stage. The Retreat team are making up for a slow start to the league by adding two wins in the last two weeks, while the Town team is suffering with large numbers of players away on holidays at the moment.
At this stage, the pairings for the finals day look as follows:
The cup final will see the all-conquering Coosan team face the Moydrum team, (who will have most players back from holidays at that stage). An interesting match is in prospect there.
The shield final will see the Town team face the Retreat team, where the fierce rivalry between the respective managers is sure to spark some excellent effort on the field.
The cup and shield finals are planned to take place as part of the Garrycastle Family day, planned for Sunday August 25th.
More details, results and the league table is available on the Under-8 Summer Street League page.
Under-8 Blitz, Friday July 19th, in Castledaly
On Friday evening, the Garrycastle under-8 squad set off on the short journey to our neighbours in Castledaly GAA to take part in the latest county organised under-8 blitz. On the evening, teams from Castledaly, Athlone, Millmore Gaels, Moate All-Whites and Garrycastle took part in the blitz, under "GO Games" rules.
On a very hot evening, (the hottest day of the summer so far), and even allowing for holidays etc., it was excellent to see a group of 24 players attending, allowing two teams to be fielded by Garrycastle.
The younger team played two matches against Moate All-Whites and Castledaly, and acquitted themselves very well, with some excellent skills on show from what are some of the very youngest players in the club. Great midfield play, catching and kicking was in evidence, including one great block from Rory to stop a dangerous attack during the match with Moate.
The older team, including our under-7 and under-8 players, also played two matches, and not to be outdone by their younger team mates, put in two sparkling displays, which has to augur well for the future of the Garrycastle club.
As is customary, the home club provided refreshments at the end of the blitz, and this was gratefully accepted by all the players present.
It almost goes without saying at this stage, but huge thanks are due also to all of the parents and supporters who attended, as their encouragement from the sideline makes all the difference.
Many thanks also to the Castledaly GAA club for a well-organised and very enjoyable blitz.
The next round in the county under-8 blitzes will be held in early September.
Summer Street League (Update from July 10).
Due to the extremely hot weather this evening, (28C believe it or not!), only one round of the street league was played.
After the third round of matches matches, the Coosan team is still sitting on top of the table.
Moydrum and Town swapped positions, and a brave display from Retreat unfortunately didn't result in a win.
Rounds 4 and 5 will be played next Wednesday, (July 17). All players will be texted with details of pitch in use, etc.
Click here for details of Teams, Schedules, and the current league table.
Under-8 Stay and Play games, Cusack Park, Mullingar, Tuesday June 18th
On Tuesday evening, (June 18th), the youngest team in the club headed off to Cusack Park in Mullingar, to take part in the annual Westmeath under-8 Play and Stay games, held in parallel with the Destination Sport Mullingar initiative.
Every GAA club in the county takes part on the evening, and it is a great opportunity for the young players to play in the county grounds.
On a beautiful warm summers evening, Garrycastle took a squad of 20 players to take part in the games. We fielded two teams, and both teams played against their counterparts from The Downs GAA club. In both matches, great skill was in evidence from all the players present, with some excellent high catching, tackling, and scoring. All scores in these games are considered equal, but the quantity of scores was extremely impressive!
After the games, the players had their photo taken as a group, and then got the opportunity to raise the Senior County Championship trophy aloft, to the delight of their parents and brothers and sisters. In this way, they are following in the footsteps of the Garrycastle senior teams, who have had great success at county level over the last decade, and who knows?, one day it may well be some of these players who lift the cup for Garrycastle for real.
All the players were given refreshments in appreciation of a good evenings football, and it was a tired but happy group of players who set off home to Athlone. Special thanks to the very many parents and supporters who made the trip - it makes all the difference to the players to have such great support on the sideline.
Slideshow below with thanks to Des McEnery for the photos.
Our next planned Under-8 outing is a county blitz in Castledaly, on Friday July 19th.
Under-8 Blitz, Saturday June 8th, in Garrycastle
On Saturday, it was Garrycastle's turn to hold one of the County organised Under-8 football blitzes, and we welcomed teams from Castledaly, Millmore Gaels and Rosemount to Garrycastle for the occasion.
On a scorching hot summers day, probably the first blitz day this year when the sun shone from a beautiful blue sky, 25 of the clubs youngest players togged out to take part in the blitz. This allowed us to field 2 teams on the morning.
As it happened, due to scout camps, athletics meets and other reasons, it was mainly the younger players who were present, but this gave all of them the opportunity to pull on the red-and-green shirt, and play for their club.
Both Garrycastle teams played some excellent football, and there was great effort on display from all concerned. Due to the very warm weather, only two rounds were played (each team playing 2 matches), following which refreshments were distributed to all the players.
As always, huge thanks to all of the parents and supporters who came along to cheer on their young heroes.
Thanks also to Lorraine Gaynor, Darragh Shine, Michael Murtagh and Mark Redmond for managing the teams on the morning.
The next blitz is an evening fixture in Mullingar, planned for June 18th, as a part of the Westmeath Sports Partnership Sports Week activities.
Under-8 Blitz, Saturday May 18th, in Moate All-Whites GAA
Our second outing of the year was to Moate All-Whites GAA on Saturday morning. Again, a great turnout of 22 players, (numbers affected a little due to communions and confirmations in Athlone), traveled to Moate.
Each team played three matches against the hosts, Athlone and Castledaly. Some great skill was on show, and this group of players is improving day-by-day. These were some great team performances, characterised by excellent fielding and kicking of the ball, and no lack of well-taken scores. Well done to all who took part on the day!
Thanks also to all of the parents and supporters who made the trip to cheer on their young heroes.
Many thanks as always to Derek and the other organisers from Moate for the excellently run blitz, and the much appreciated refreshments for the players after their exertions.
The next blitz is a home fixture in Garrycastle, planned for June 8th.
Under-8 Blitz, Saturday April 13th in Athlone GAA.
Our first outing of the year was to Athlone GAA on Saturday morning to take part in an Under-8 blitz, along side Athlone, Caulry, Castledaly and Tubberclair. Despite the wind and cold, we had a great turnout of 31 young players on the day, which allowed Garrycastle to field 3 teams, and each team played two matches.
Some great skill was on show from all the players, and for many of them, this was their first time taking the field in a Garrycastle shirt, the first we hope of many, many days playing for the club.
Huge thanks to Athlone GAA for an excellently run blitz, and the much appreciated refreshments at the end. Many thanks also of course to all the parents for cheering on their young stars!
NOTE: As of 2013, ALL juvenile players (under 18 years old), MUST wear gum shields.
Please read the full notice and reasoning here.
Approved gum-shields (boil and bite type), may be obtained from any team manager, at a cost of €2.
Training times for the Under-8 group is on Wednesdays, from 6:30pm to 7:30pm,
and Sundays Mornings from 11:30 - 12:30.
Training will normally be held on the top training pitch in Garrycastle on Wednesday evenings, and on the pitch at Cornamaddy National School on Sunday mornings.
All parents will be texted each week with training times for the week.
Game (Blitz format) times
County and club blitzes for this age group are planned as shown in the table below.
Final Schedule (from Westmeath GAA games development : April 21st, 2013):
Club Fe -8’s ‘Play & Stay’ Days
Points To Note
• Games start at 6:30 pm. Clubs to be at venue for 6:15pm (to finish for 8.00pm)
• Games 9- a-side for day one (depending on feedback we may run with 7-a-side for blitz days 2 and 3)
• Games 20 min (2 x 10)
• Where clubs have more than one team, players to wear bibs over jerseys on the second team
• Pitches approximately 45m x 40m with a 5m zone marked across the centre area
• Each club to provide referee – this can be one of the mentors with the u-8s
• This is an U-8 competition, U-8 and younger only allowed (i.e. for players born on or before 1.1.2001)
If any Club has a query it can be dealt with through Eddie Bouabbse (086-2609820), James Heffernan (087-6460030), Michael McHugh (0872935504) or Noel Delaney (087-2456147).