Clonakenny Juvenile Club 2023 Roundup

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In recent times our small club has grown immensely and through the dedication of the community we now boost over 90 juveniles from u17 to our little stars in the nursery group.

This dedication was obvious throughout the year when our teams from U 15, U 13, U 11 had so many tough matches and who always played their best and showed pride in their club.

The u17 team this year participated well in their competitive matches as part of the ongoing collaboration with Moneygall, a long term partnership which has proved a great success for both clubs. The training and skills developed at this level go on to improve our senior teams in the years to follow. The u17 team competed in the North u17 A and recorded victories over Kilruane, Nenagh, Roscrea, Ballina, Lorrha/Shannon Rovers before being defeated by Kilurane ending the team's year.

2023 was the first year of the U 15 team returning to play as a standalone team with 15 boys togging out in the Clonakenny colours, showing great resilience as they worked together as a team against by times much bigger clubs. These battles on the pitch however were always secondary to the Team spirit and pride the lads showed in their club. We hope going forward to build on the strong foundations and standards set by this year’s team and foster this ethos going forward to build a force to be reckoned with.

This year we had 24 players on our under 13 panel, one of the largest numbers in recent years. The vast majority of this year’s team will be our team again next year for this age group. As the year went on and the boys matured so too did their abilities and their desire to represent the club. There were so many matches where we all felt proud to be on the side line such was the commitment from the boys. To the surprise of many of our old rivals across the division we were indeed a team to be contended with. Unfortunately at the end of the year on a very tight scoreline it was not to be our time but we live in hope that next year we will succeed.

Our U 11 team this year played many matches and we can see the benefit of the training of our young girls in this age group as they play their last matches in a Clonakenny Jersey. Throughout the year the team played many competitive matches and fielded many great teams with plenty to choose from on the sideline, which has been lacking in recent years for juvenile hurling in Clonakenny. We take time here to also appreciate the achievements of some of the dual players here who played for JK Brackens in both football and Camogie and their numerous wins through the year, always proud of their roots in Clonakenny where their passion for the game was born.

The Under 9 and Under 7 teams this year appeared to have a hectic schedule of non-stop matches and competitions. The GAA youth development can be proud of what they achieved this year with the amount of matches they made available for us to participate in. These matches coupled with the blitz’s which were run by ourselves and our neighbouring clubs was a testament to what Juvenile sports is all about.

The nursery group, although a new concept in the club over the last while, has proven more successful than we would ever have anticipated with 14 future All Stars taking part. The trainers ensured that fun is always at the centre of all the activities ensuring a great attendance each week. The work here fosters the ethos of the club, Ónoir, Meas, Cairdeas this is where forever friendships are made.

The record number is not only for players as we now have 30 trainers and selectors who give their time for the players and the club without which none of our achievements would have been possible.

In 2023 although we may not have won any trophies to place on our shelves for a year, we have made memories with our friends and teammates which will last forever.

- Ger Duff, Juvenile Club Chairman & Aodhán O Flaithearta, Juvenile Club Secretary

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