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Monday 08.12.2014
Team Talk Mag


As the Tyrone senior ladies return to full training in preparation for a new season the gaels of Tyrone have reviewed the season just past with plenty of positives to reflect upon but also some considerable challenges ahead. There were few changes at the recent AGM of the ladies GFA in the county at the Garvaghey centre but there will be changes to the way fixtures are structured in the county and a major drive expected to develop young county sides.

The secretary’s report from Maggie Skelton included reports from all aspects of the game in the county ranging from development to communications and fixtures. The county treasurer also outlined a year of expenditure and incomes with gate receipts well up after very good championship campaigns. The support of sponsorship was also welcomed and Frances Arnold was complimentary of the way clubs assisted in hosting games and she paid tribute to those who assisted with handing gates during an exceptionally busy year. The treasurer made it clear though that all aspects of funding must be looked at and contributions from clubs and county bodies should be examined.

County Chairman Martin Conway explained that more must be done to secure funding from throughout the county including fund raising and sponsorship. The Chair thanked senior team and adult championship sponsors Time Bar and Nightclub and youth sponsors Dernester and Quarryking. He hoped they would remain on board in 2015, he also went on to pay tribute to Kieran Kennedy and O’Neills international sportswear.

The running costs of county football and ladies football remains high but they are well within reason considering the number of clubs, teams and fixtures involved. ” A careful reign” though explained the Strabane clubman must be maintained to keep Tyrone football on a level playing field with the likes of Dublin, Cork and Monaghan who says the chairman Tyrone must be able to compete with at all levels.

The county chairman in his address paid tribute to everyone who helped in the promotion and delivery of ladies football with a special mention for the inter county managers and coaches. He was happy with the progress made at senior level as the team evolves and he suggested success is not far away for this group of players and what looks like a very strong under 21 squad that will be fielded in 2015. Conway congratulated all the various county champions, St Macartans senior, Omagh who claimed the intermediate championship and league, Dromore who went on to be crowned Ulster junior champions, Coalisland junior B champions and Aodh Ruadh senior b winners.

The continuity of management at senior level proved important too said the chairman who confirmed to delegates the various management set ups for the new season. He also encouraged clubs to get girls out to play for all the county teams as it was an honour to be included in the county sides. The green shoots of recovery were clear during the 2014 senior campaign, it was clear too said the chairman that Tyrone were making progress.

Conway, who was returned unopposed for another term along side the bulk of the executive, congratulated the various teams that claimed the honours of 2014 but warned that there is a serious need to encourage new referees if the success of the club scene in the county is to continue. “There is a need to get new referees and all clubs should make a special effort to get people to “grab their whistle.” If we don’t have officials we won’t have games” explained the county chair.

During the AGM new fixture structures were discussed and tribute paid to outgoing fixtures secretary Aishling McCrory who was stepping down. In terms of 2015 fixtures a new sub committee was elected to look at all aspects of games for next year and with clear evidence there is a desire for change, that committee will face a busy few weeks as they provide club delegates with concrete proposals.

The link between all aspects of Tyrone fixtures was also highlighted and Tyrone delegates called for a more structured national fixtures plan that would prevent teams waiting weeks to play through the height of Summer when club competitions are forced to stall. It would appear this concern has been taken on board by the central council.

There was also a call to set out serious plans to promote all the inter county fixtures in particular the national league and the PRO thanked the inter county management teams and players for their co-operation during 2014. Identifying one venue such as Healy Park would allow major promotion, several poster campaigns and linkege with the Tyrone GAA PRO will continue to develop. The PRO also thanked all the local media, photographers and for their support of the ladies game.

Already plans are in place for the new season with the county seniors and several underage squads already in preparation. A clutch of new faces will join the existing senior panel with the management headed by Tiffy Quinn expecting the likes of Emma Smyth and Aine Canavan to link up with the squad ahead of the national league but it’s clear that in spite of making progress this season Tyrone will be up against it again next year.




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