It has been an interesting and busy time for me since my election as president 2009-2010 last May, starting with the Play offs for the Division 3 Championship and Corporate Night right up to Fri. 22/11/09 for the presentation of a cheque of €17,500 to the club by Buskers Bar/ Kirby’s Restaurant, our main sponsors. Buskers have been major sponsors to Corinthians for the past 15 years. Many thanks to Terry Sweeny for his continuing sponsorship and to Dave Keogh for presenting the cheque.
The tag rugby this summer was a great success, in spite of the bad weather, and the Volvo Race visit to Galway during that time reduced the social side significantly for a few weeks. The level of participation and competitive edge was great to see, even if once or twice people got carried away with themselves in the heat of the moment. The Fancy Dress competition was a spectacle to behold. The enthusiasm and inventiveness of many of the competitors was indeed stunning, with many dazzling shows of colour, flair and fashion mingled with novel and even risqué displays. I had the unenviable task of picking the winners; a task I did not particularly relish! Congratulations to all who took part and made the night such a success. I hope that you will all be back again next yr. at the Tag and also for the Fancy Dress Competition.
Our new Senior Coach, Eugene Murnane took up his post in July and lost no time getting stuck in, with his efforts to get the players up to speed in fitness, skill and tactics. Eugene is most welcome, and I wish him every success with Corinthians. Eugene joins fellow-Welshman Bernie Kelly on the coaching staff, which also includes Seán Duignan (Diggers). Manager Tom Glynn and Physio Rob Creane complete the back-up team.
The tragic death of Keith O’ Reilly in Chicago in July was a terrible shock to all of us. Keith had played with Corinthians from and early age up to under 19s, and was a great prospect for the club. He was due to return this year and eagerly anticipated togging out with his old friends again. Sadly it was not to be. The huge attendance of Corinthian players young and old at the funeral service demonstrated the esteem in which Keith was held. At Halloween Corinthian’s Cathal O’Shea and Keith’s friend Darren Lyons organised a tag tournament at the club in his memory. Keith’s parents were presented with a framed club shirt, and Keith’s father Liam made the presentations to the winning team on the night. Money was donated to the IRFU Charitable Trust, which raises funds for injured players. Keith’s parents Liam and Yvonne participated in the event and other family members and friends also attended. I wish to thank them for their input, on what must have been a very difficult occasion for them. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.
Our Day at the Races on the sat of race-week was most enjoyable, although numbers were down on last yr. Not too many bookies were bankrupted. The golf outing in Galway Golf Club was a social and financial success in spite of torrential rain on the day. Many thanks to Enda Mc Gowan for organizing the event and to all our sponsors and to all the golfers who braved the elements.
The first matches of the season took place in Aug. and were predictably somewhat a mixed bag, with some players out with injury, others not fully fit and some new arrivals finding their feet. Gradually the team has taken shape and have had a very encouraging Start in Div. 2 of the AIL. Starting our campaign with away fixtures against the 2 teams demoted from Div 1 last yr was a daunting task. After opening with a loss away to UCD, we went on to defeat Terenure away, which was a magnificent achievement. Subsequent wins against Bective and Old Crescent demonstrated the ability of the team to assert themselves at this level. Our last outing against our bogey team, Old Wesley in Donnybrook did not go well and we look forward to an early return to winning ways.
We have had an inordinate no. of injuries this season with, Seamus Murphy, James Buckley, Shane Conneely, Seán Gerrity, Denis Buckley, James Robinson, Dave Sullivan, Rory Connellan, Karl Egan, Dave Bardon all missing games through injury. New outhalf Baden Morley was injured in his first match against Connemara, but is now thankfully back in action again. I wish all injured players still out a speedy recovery, and those back in training good luck in their efforts to establish themselves in the team.
The no. of young players breaking through to the senior panel this year is most encouraging. I have been a member of the club for thirty years and this is the first year where I can see the benefits of our youth policy bearing fruit at senior level. I think I am correct in stating that we had seven under 21 players on the field at some time or other against Terenure, and a good no. in the other matches as well. Congratulations to the large no. who represented Connaught and also to Eoin Griffin and Dennis Buckley on getting into the Irish squad at Under 21 level. Aaron Conneely, another Corinthian has been selected to play against Australia schoolboys on the Irish Under 19s, representing Colaiste Iognáid. Well done Aaron. As well as home-grown players we have several new arrivals and I would like to welcome Shane Mullally, Dennis Buckley and Thomas Timani together with all new players at everyl levels throughout the club.
Lest I dwell too much on the senior team, I wish to acknowledge some very good results at other levels throughout the club, in particular the J1s against Boy’s Club, Ballinrobe, Castlebar and Tuam; J2s against Loughrea and the under 21s against NUIG. Coaches and teams have been active at Youth and Mini levels also. The weather has not been conducive for training or matches for anybody but for the minis in particular. Congratulations to all, who weekly, in all kinds of weather, have such an active input into looking after the players in these vital areas of our club.
On Sat. 7th Nov a course was run in the club on use of the recently purchased AED (Automated External Defibrillator). 12 people including myself underwent training, and we now have trained people who are involved at mini, youth and adult level rugby. Congratulations to:
all of whom will be presented with their Certificates prior to the AIL game v Trinity on 5/12/09. Would the other people in the club who are already certified kindly make themselves known to me so that I can draw up a complete list of certified people.
Bryan Casburn, Enda Mc Gowan and I represented the club in Dublin on 14th. Nov. at the Fundraising Dinner of the IRFU Charitable Trust, when a cheque from Corinthians was presented to the Trust. Jeff Smyth in his capacity as Trust member was officiating and Connaught Branch President Steve Cunningham , who is of course a Corinthian also attended.
The club was honoured by Galway bay FM when selected as Senior Club of the year for 2009. I collected the very attractive Galway Crystal trophy on behalf of the club at the Sports Star Awards in the Radisson Hotel. On Fri 20th Nov. 11 Club members attended, representing the various sections of the club. This is an award to the whole club and heartiest congratulations to all members of the club on this great achievement. Essential elements of every successful club are participation by members and a feeling of belonging. While many members are actively involved, we can always use more help. Contact any member of the committee if you would like to become more involved. The trophy is on display in the clubhouse. WELL DONE CORINTHIANS.
On my visits to clubs around the country I can see that we have a huge amount to be proud of. We are a relatively small club in membership terms with less than 200 including players. Other clubs we compete with have a membership from 400 upwards, excluding players. In spite of this we have a great club spirit, a super atmosphere, excellent facilities and dedicated people throughout the club who make all this happen. However, in spite of all of this excellent endeavour, a relatively small no. of people carry the burden of making Corinthians the successful club it is. We need all the help we can get and willing hands, whatever the level of expertise, are always welcome. The club is only as good as the combined efforts of its members. There is good camaraderie and plenty craic. If not already actively involved, why not chip in and MAKE YOUR CLUB WORK FOR YOU.
The AIL continues with the game against Trinity College, Dublin on Sat 5th. Dec. We hope to have a good crowd for this crucial match. Your attendance would be greatly appreciated.
President Galway Corinthians 2009-2010