KDFL Chairman and Secretary Address AGM 2012
Kildare & District Football League
Chairman's Address - AGM 2012
You are all very welcome to our 18th. Annual General Meeting here in the Keadeen Hotel. I look forward to a productive meeting in which we will review our activities during the 2011 season and plan for 2012.
Your League continues to grow in membership in terms of numbers of teams and players participating, despite a general fall off nationally and the recessionary times we are currently living in. There is no doubt that the courageous decision taken by the clubs three years ago to move to a "Summer" season is now paying dividends. The League is well aware of the difficulty clubs are experiencing in terms of gaining sponsorship and in fundraising and I wish to compliment all on their efforts to fund their activities.
The KDFL is continually looking for ways to make our game as all inclusive as possible and to this end the recent introduction of the over 35 and Women's sections has been a great success and I have no doubt that we will experience further growth in these areas in the coming seasons.
Congratulations to all who participated in the 2011 season. Well done to all the winners and to those who lifted the various awards at our very enjoyable Annual Dinner in the Keadeen Hotel in November. I would like to record our thanks to all who attended and in particular to Donal Conway of the FAI and Tony Manning of the LFA, who joined us on the night.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the sponsors, who have remained with us through these difficult economic times. Their contribution is greatly appreciated. Our thanks also go to the local and national media, who have continued to bring the news of our activities to the public on a weekly basis. In my humble opinion their support has had a very positive bearing on the growth and popularity of the game in our area and the success of the KDFL.
Thanks all those, at club level, who have been a great support to me and our committee throughout what was a very busy season. Your help, advice and courtesy are really appreciated. Our appreciation must also be registered to the gentlemen of the Kildare / Laois Branch of the ISRS for handling all our games throughout the season. In this respect I would like to register my personal thanks to Liam Murphy, who stepped down as Referee's Co-ordinator at the end of the season. Liam has handled this onerous task for well over a decade and done so in a professional and fair manner. Our FAI Regional Development Offices also play an important role in the development of our game and therefore I would like to thank Pat Behan and Laura Cusack for their input over the past year, particularly in relation to the development of the Women's section.
Last but by no means least I must thank my colleagues on the Executive Committee of the League for the Trojan work they have done throughout the season. Each member brings their own special expertise in various areas to the committee and their work goes largely un-noticed. I have no hesitation in saying that it is a great pleasure and honour for me to work with such a fine group of dedicated people.
The best of luck to all our clubs in 2012.
Yours in Sport
Secretary's Report AGM 2012
To begin with I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clubs for their courtesy, support and co-operation during what was a hectic year. I outline hereunder the main features of the 2012 season.
Affiliation / Registrations
The 2011 season kicked off with all six Junior Divisions getting under way at the end of Match. The number of clubs was unchanged from the 2010 season but teams competing increased from 74 to 91. At a time when most Leagues are experiencing a fall of in membership this was a very pleasing aspect of the season and is a testament to the success of Summer soccer. Once again in an effort to bridge the gap between Junior and Underage Soccer in the area we offered free league and registration fees to all clubs entering a team in our under 19 division.
A restructuring of the Junior section was undertaken prior to kick off in an effort to balance the number of teams in all six divisions. All divisions were keenly contested throughout the season with Liffey Celtic retaining the Senior Division title, a major achievement for the club. Equally impressive was Coill Dubh's major feat of winning the Lumsden League cup for the second successive year with a win over Naas United in a fantastic final at Station Road. There were a number of League and Cup doubles also with Eleson United doing the double in Division 1 while Portlaoise Celtic lifted the Division 2 League and Cup titles. Meanwhile Straffan AFC took the Division 3 title as well as the Division 3 & 4 Cup.
Suncroft AFC took the Under 19 title for the third time in four season and went on to add the Under 19 cup to their haul, overcoming Kildare Town in a superb final.
The increased membership in the popular Over 35 section saw the addition of a Second Division. Once again competition was intense with Liffey Celtic and Leixlip United winning divisions 1 & 2 respectively. Liffey went on to take the Masters Cup, overcoming Athy Town while Derry Rovers denied Leixlip United a double by winning the Masters Shield.
A respectable seven teams competed in our inaugural Womens League. This was one of the real success stories of the season with Bridge United winning the League title from Kilcullen AFC. Kilcullen however had their day in the sun when the pair met again in the Womens Cup final at a packed Station Road, the Liffeysiders coming out on top after a fabulous tie.
Les Kelly was appointed manager of the Oscar Traynor side and buoyed by that fantastic 3-0 win over the Leinster Senior League in the final game of the 2010 season attempted to get the squad together at an early stage. Interest was poor at the beginning but picked up as the season progressed. The opening game saw us loose to the Defence Forces at Mullarney Park and a miracle was needed at the Iveagh Grounds when we took on the Leinster Senior League. A 2-0 defeat ended the Leagues interest in the competition.
The Womens representative side put in enormous work under manager Jenifer Walsh in preparing for their debut in the FAI Womens Senior Cup. They were handed a very difficult away tie to the Mayo League in Castlebar and the task proved a bridge too far. Much has been learned in the first year however and already preparations are under way for the coming season.
The real success story of the season from an Inter League prospective has been the performance of our Youths Team, under manager Jim Percival, in the National Youths Inter League Cup. The Kildare & District Underage League and the KDFL applied and were granted permission to jointly enter a side due to the fact that the same players and teams were competing in both leagues. After a setback in their first game at home to Wicklow they put in a superb performance away to Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park to come from 2-0 down to win 3-2. Those three goals propelled Kildare into the quarter finals for the first time after all three sides in the group had finished equal on points. They will entertain Galway at Mullarney Park in that quarterfinal on Saturday 10th. March at 2pm.
Provincial and National Cups.
Rathangan FC were our best performers in the LFA Cup, reaching the fifth round where they went down 1-0 to MDL side Duleek. In the over 35's LFA Cup Kildare Town have done the League proud. They have reached the Quarter Final, where they will take on Drumcondra FC at Rathbride Road on Saturday next.
Coill Dubh's Under 19's have done brilliantly to reach the semi-finals of the LFA Cup. They take on Ballymun United on 26th march 2012, the winners of this game will take on the winners of Navan Town or Rivervalley Rangers in the Final.
In an effort to promote continuity in the women's game the League, for the second season, has organised a very successful Futsal Tournament in the Sports Centre Newbridge. Eleven sides are competing in two divisions. We are indebted to the Kildare County Council (The Kildare Sports Partnership) for funding the cost of the Centre for the competition and again thank Pat Behan and Laura Cusack (FAI Kildare RDOs) for their assistance. The League will also hold a ‘one day' Blitz competition for the women in April 2012.
Child Awareness/Childrens Officers Courses
In line with current legislation the KDFL has been pro-active in arranging and subsidising Child Protection Courses for all its' clubs. There a just a small number of clubs who have not participated and they are reminded that in order to sign a minor they must have a qualified Child Protection Officer for the coming season.
Kildare Sports Partnership / Forum
The League recognises the input of the Kildare Sports Partnership into our activities. Our thanks go to Eddie Hessenny and Syl Merrins for their advice and co-operation , particularly in relation to the development of our Women's section. The KDFL has also taken an active part in Sports Forums organised for all sports bodies by Kildare County Council and a womens selection from the KDFL recently represented the Council at a Sports Exchange programme held in NUI Maynooth where they took on Lisburn (NI)
Regional Development Officers
I would like to record our thanks to our Regional Development Offices Pat Behan and Laura Cusack for their invaluable help during the year with our Women's Futsal activities.
National and Provincial Involvement
The League continues to take a full and active part in all National and Provincial Committees. The KDFL is represented on the LFA Senior Council by the Chairman and Secretary. Our Assistant Secretary and Secretary sit on the LFA Junior Council, Executive member Geraldine O Brien sits on the LFA Youth Committee.The League Secretary also represents the League on the FAI Junior Council. The Secretary and Assistant Secretary have also been elected to the Executive of the WFAI Leinster Executive. We are therefore well placed to be aware of all activity at all levels in the game.
Our Annual Awards Night, held in the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge in November, was a resounding success. The attendance included Donal Conway of the Board of the FAI and Tony Manning, President of the Leinster Football Association as well as representatives of our sister Leagues, Sponsons, Referees etc. My congratulations go to all nineteen Special Award Winners of the Night.
Thanks to all of you for your help and courtesy during the season and finally I must record my indebtedness to our hard-working committee for their unstinting support during the season. Have a great 2012.