Sunday, January 27, 2008

Secretay's Report to Annual General Meeting

Secretary's Report to Annual General Meeting - 19/01/08

A chairde,

Welcome to our Annual General Meeting. This meeting will lay the foundation for both on field and off field activities for 2008. The AGM presents an opportunity for everyone to offer their opinions & suggestions. Members have received notification, motion forms and nomination papers. The more competition we have for positions on the committee and for other jobs the better. There is a general sense of goodwill towards the club and a genuine interest in taking it forward. The AGM is the opportunity to enhance club morale and a forum for healthy inclusive debate from all members.

The year finished on a great note with our Senior Team winning the Novice Co. Championship for the first time. This was a momentous occasion in the history of the club and shows that Cromane have the stomach for championship battle. The celebrations included a merry journey home from Tralee with a call in to Leen's bar and a long night in Jack's. We look forward to the upcoming Munster Championship campaign and a tilt at the Junior Championship in 2008 with relish. Division 4 however proved to be a tough competition and we did not achieve the goal of promotion as set out by the management & players at the beginning of the year. There were some good wins, some draws, some narrow losses and a couple of lessons give to us. This was a tough division and both teams that were promoted thoroughly deserved it. There was a lot to be learned this year and hopefully these lessons can be translated into further success next year. We were not helped by the fact that both of our county stars were not always available. This is likely to continue through 2008 with expected success for the Kingdom in the hunt for Sam Maguire. It is up to the rest of the players to find that bit extra in each of them to compensate when either of Sean or Donnchadh are not available. In the Mid Kerry Championship we put the eventual champions Milltown/Castlemaine to the pin of their collar for much of the game but the Division 1 side managed to pull away at the end. No fault to the team here as we had a reduced panel and many injuries going into the match. We also participated in the Mid Kerry league early in the season but did not progress to the knockout stages. I would like to thank the players for their commitment to the task over a long year when long periods went without any competitive fixtures being played. We had a panel of 33 for the Novice final which shows that the players are there. Hopefully we will see all stick with it through 2008. Well done to Colm Joy and his management team for keeping the motivation & momentum up. We look forward to 2008 with expectations raised.

The fielding of a junior team needs to continue to ensure a supply of players coming through. The B team gave a good account of themselves in the Mid Kerry B league with some closely contested games. In theory there should be enough players available between young players, panelists & retired seniors to facilitate this and have no impact on the senior team. It is also a way of keeping people involved in the club who may later become coaches, referees or club officers.

Sean O'Sullivan & Donnchadh Walsh brought glory through further All-Ireland medals to Cromane and were fine ambassadors for the Club. It's great encouragement for the underage scene to have two county players of this caliber. We wish them the best in 2008 in the quest to bring Sam Maguire back again.

Our minors had a good County League run and made it as far as the play offs but went down to the Gaeltacht. The Mid Kerry Minor League turned into a farce as points were deducted from Cromane/Listry by the Mid Kerry board after two games had been won on the premise that illegal players had been played. This was strongly contested by Cromane through an appeal to the Co, Board. Despite attending an oral hearing in September and several written and oral communications to the Co. Board, the appeals committee have to this day not made a ruling on this case using various excuses. This is not good enough and needs to be raised with the Co. Board early this year. The Mid Kerry board then took the decision not to allow Cromane/Listry play in the Mid Kerry minor Championship.

The U16s had a good run finishing 3rd in the County League and reaching the Mid Kerry B final where the lost out to Milltown. The U14s won the Mid Kerry B final this year and were runners up in the A final. The U12 won the Mid Kerry B final and were runners up in the A competition.
The U8 and U10 scene is excellent and well attended on Sunday mornings where there is great enthusiasm and fun. Great work is being done by the mentors. Those who look after these sessions deserve great praise. As we can see from the numbers coming through the future for the club looks bright.

On the refereeing front, the men in the middle must be thanked and the club is obliged to provide referees. Michael Healy and Danny Connor represent the club on that front.

The field committee has again had a busy year. The drainage work continues and has been a great success. All concerned deserve praise for work and time spent at the field both in maintenance and preparing for matches. The floodlights are a great facility for winter training. The sanding program has greatly improved the pitch. Also fencing was erected behind the goals and the goalmouth area resurfaced. The Co. Council has been out to see the roadway and will decide in March if and when this will be resurfaced. Further major building work is planned subject to securing National Lottery funding. This building will incorporate a gym, press box, meeting room, and further covered stand capacity. We are awaiting further news from the Department of Sport Arts & Tourism as to when a further release of funding will be come available. We will need to increase our own fundraising activity should this work commence to cover the remaining costs.

The Lotto has performed well again. Marion Casey, John & Olive Mulvihill and John & Kathleen Teahan were the big winners. It is great to see locals winning. The club is in an excellent financial state. The sellers work away every week and provide great service to the club and ensure that the cash keeps rolling in. Thank you all. You are the financial lifeblood of the club and each of you is held in high esteem by the club. To all members if you do not have time to sell tickets please make sure you buy them. Every ticket counts.

I would like to thank our sponsors also. The same group keep digging deep to fund the club and we have one or two new sponsors this year also. Thanks to Cromane Seafoods, D& R landscaping, The Red Fox, Jacks Bar, Mad Mix, CRL Oil, Paudie O'Shea, J & L Naughton, Raymond Griffin, Con McGuillicuddy Tarmacadam, MacNeill Tarmacadam & Kelly Farm Modernisation.

The annual Family Fun and Sports Days was again an excellent day and raised funds which went to local organisations.

Cromane GAA club will be 25 years old in November this year. It has been suggested that a committee be formed to put together a club history and look at appropriate celebrations. We cannot let such a landmark pass without appropriately marking the occasion.
The player's injury scheme worked well for Cromane players this year. I'll invite Stephen Scales to say a few words on this later under any other business. Suffice to say adherence to the procedure is critical to validate claims.

It remains for me to thank my club executive colleagues who put so much work into the running of this club. Coming into the role fairly green I have received good counsel this year from each of them. I must especially thank our Assistant Secretary Tomas for the thoroughly professional condition of the paperwork and the computerised material which he handed over to me. It made my introduction to the position very easy as I could reference in detail how the various tasks had been carried out previously as they came up. We must especially thank Michael Riordan Jnr. and Seamus O'Shea who will be stepping down from their respective roles this year for their great contributions to the club.

Last week saw the passing of our club vice president Fr Pat McCarthy. We extend our sympathies to Bob McCarthy, Mary Leen and all the extend families. Fr McCarthy was a great patron of the club and will be missed by all. May he rest in peace.

Finally, I wish everyone well in 2008 on and off the field. Cromane Abu!

Yours in sport,
Sean O'Suilleabhain,
Cumann Peile Realt na Mara CLG