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  • Sat 31 Jan 2015
  • 11:00amMinor F.C. Roinn A
    Winner of S/Final vs. Mooncoin TBC
  • 2:00pmJ.F.L.
    Tullogher Rosbercon vs. Graignamanagh Tullogher
  • 2:00pmJ.F.L.
    Carrickshock vs. Young Irelands Hugginstown
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Salthill-Knocknacarra vs. Roscommon Gaels Salthill-Knocknacarra
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Western Gaels vs. Carrick Hurling Club (St Marys) Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Ballinasloe GAA vs. Castlebar Mitchels Hurling Ballinasloe
  • 2:00pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Naomh Seamas vs. Dungannon Thomas Clarkes St James'
  • 2:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 1 2015
    Áth Liag/Athleague vs. Ballyhaunis Athleague
  • 2:00pmU14.F.L.R.B.
    Kilmoganny vs. Glenmore Dunnamaggin
  • 3:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    Skehana vs. Westport GAA Skehana Community Development Pitch
  • 3:00pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Domhnach Mór Naoimh Pádraig vs. Málainn/Malin Donaghmore GAA
  • 5:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 1 2015
    Oran Hurling Club vs. Tuairín Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 6:30pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Bryansford vs. An Eaglais, Naoimh Pádraig Bryansford
  • 7:00pmJ.F.L.
    Kilmacow vs. Windgap TBC
  • 7:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 1 2015
    Tyrone vs. Monaghan Healy Park, Omagh
  • 7:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 1 2015
    Donegal vs. Derry Ballybofey
  • 7:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 3 2015
    Fermanagh vs. Louth Brewster Park
  • 7:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 4 2015
    Waterford vs. Wicklow Fraher Field
  • 7:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    St Michael's vs. Ratoath Nobber
  • 7:00pmMunster Waterford
    Crystal Hurling Cup 2013
    Cork vs. Limerick Mallow
  • 8:00pmConnacht GAA Tain
    League Division 2 2015
    St. Dominics vs. Sylane Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • Sun 01 Feb 2015
  • 11:00am2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Truagh vs. Naomh Conaill Truagh
  • 11:00amMinor F.C. Roinn C
    Tullaroan vs. Kilmoganny Tullaroan
  • 11:00amU21 C North
    Football Championship
    Williamstown vs. Cortoon Shamrocks Williamstown
  • 11:15am2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Naomh Pól CLG /St Pauls GAC vs. Steelstown The Dub
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Walterstown vs. Drumbaragh Walterstown
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Moynalvey vs. Rathkenny Kiltale
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    St Colmcilles vs. Nobber Piltown
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Castletown vs. Gaeil Colmcille Castletown
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Trim vs. Oldcastle GFC Trim
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Dunderry vs. Bective Dunderry
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Ballinabrackey vs. Longwood Ballinabrackey
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Clann na nGael vs. Meath Hill Athboy
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Ballivor vs. St Paul's Ballivor
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Clonard vs. Moylagh Clonard
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    St Vincents vs. Dunsany Ardcath
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Slane vs. Kilmainhamwood Slane
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    St Patrick's vs. Duleek-Bellewstown Stamullen
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Wolfe Tones vs. St Peter's, Dunboyne Kilberry
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Na Fianna vs. Summerhill Enfield
  • 11:30amAll County
    Football A League
    Dunshaughlin vs. Skryne Dunshaughlin
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Bellaghy vs. Sarsfields Bellaghy
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Pomeroy Plunketts vs. Derrytresk Fir aChnoic Derrytresk
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Brackaville Owen Roes vs. Dromara Brackaville
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Claudy vs. All Saints Ballymena Claudy
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Liatroim vs. Desertmartin Liatroim
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Gortin St Patrick's vs. Urney St Colmcille's Urney
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Droim Ratha an tSáirsealaigh vs. Derrylaughan Kevin Barry's GAC Drumragh
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    An Ríocht vs. St Marys Slaughtmanus GAC Cookstown
  • 12:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Owen Roe O`Neill's GAC, Leckpatrick vs. Kildress Wolfe Tones Pairc an Ghleanna
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Enniskillen Gaels vs. Erne Gaels Belleek Brewster Park
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Ederney St Joseph's vs. Lisnaskea Emmetts Ederney
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Knockninny Gaels vs. Tempo Maguires
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    St. Gerard's vs. Derrygonnelly Harps
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Belcoo O`Rahilly's vs. Maguiresbridge St Mary's Belcoo
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Newtownbutler First Fermanaghs vs. Devenish St Mary's Newtownbutler GAA
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Brookeboro Heber McMahons vs. St Patrick's Donagh Brookeboro
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Coa O`Dwyer's vs. Kinawley Brian Borus Coa
  • 12:00pmMinor Football
    League 2015 Sections
    Belnaleck Art McMurroughs vs. Irvinestown St Molaises Belnaleck
  • 12:00pmU21 Football
    Championship
    St Patrick's vs. Na Fianna Minor Club Edenderry Main Grounds
  • 12:00pmU21 Football
    Championship
    St Manchan's Gaels vs. Wheery Tubber
  • 1:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    Curraha vs. Boardsmill Curraha
  • 1:00pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Drum vs. Belcoo O`Rahilly's Owenbeg
  • 2:00pmSenior Hurling
    Championship
    Athenry vs. Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry Raheen
  • 2:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    Seneschalstown vs. Blackhall Gaels Seneschalstown
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    Conahy Shamrocks vs. Glenmore Jenkinstown
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    Mullinavat vs. Railyard GFC Mullinavat
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    Mooncoin vs. St. Patrick's Mooncoin
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    Kilmoganny vs. Clara Dunnamaggin
  • 2:00pmS.F.L.
    O`Loughlin Gaels vs. Muckalee St. John's Park
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 1 2015
    Cork vs. Dublin Páirc Uí Rinn
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 1 2015
    Kerry vs. Mayo Fitzgerald Stadium
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 2 2015
    Galway vs. Meath Pearse Stadium
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 2 2015
    Roscommon vs. Cavan Kiltoom
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 2 2015
    Westmeath vs. Laois Cusack Park, Mullingar
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 2 2015
    Kildare vs. Down Newbridge
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 3 2015
    Clare vs. Wexford Miltown Malbay
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 3 2015
    Limerick vs. Sligo Kilmallock
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 3 2015
    Armagh vs. Tipperary Athletic Grounds
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 4 2015
    London vs. Offaly Ruislip
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 4 2015
    Leitrim vs. Longford Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada
  • 2:00pmAllianz Football
    League Roinn 4 2015
    Antrim vs. Carlow Pairc Naomh Pól
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Kehoe
    Cup SH 2015
    Meath vs. Longford Trim
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Kehoe
    Cup SH 2015
    Louth vs. St Patricks-Mater Dei Darver
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Kehoe
    Cup SH 2015
    Wicklow vs. Maynooth University Greystones
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Kehoe
    Cup SH 2015
    Fingal vs. Kildare IT Blanchardstown GAA Pitch
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Walsh
    Cup SH 2015
    Carlow vs. Galway Dr. Cullen Park
  • 2:00pmBord Na Mona Walsh
    Cup SH 2015
    Laois vs. Dublin Portlaoise
  • 2:00pmAIB GAA Football
    All Ireland Junior Club Championship 14/15
    Brosna vs. Rock St Patrick's Ballinasloe
  • 3:00pmUnder-16 F.C.
    Roinn B
    St Fiacres vs. St Martin's Dr Tierney Park
  • 3:00pmAll County
    Football A League
    Kilmainham vs. St Brigid's Kilmainham
  • Mon 02 Feb 2015
  • 12:00pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Senior D
    Drumshambo VS vs. Jesus & Mary Secondary Enniscrone A: Connacht GAA Centre
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Junior A
    St. Attractas Community School Tubbercurry vs. St Geralds, Castlebar Swinford GAA Club
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Junior A
    St Colmans, Claremorris vs. StMuredeachs Kiltimagh GAA Club
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Junior B
    Ballyhaunis Community School vs. St. Clare`s Comprehensive Manorhamilton Tubbercurry GAA
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fergal Maher Cup 2015
    Institute of Technology Sligo vs. DkIT IT Sligo Grounds
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    St Mary's University College vs. Ulster University Jordanstown St Genevieves High School Belfast
  • 7:00pmMinor F.C. Roinn A
    Dicksboro vs. O`Loughlin Gaels Palmerstown
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Ryan Cup 2015
    Athlone Institute of Technology vs. Queens University Belfast AIT GAA Pitch
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Trench Cup 2015
    Cavan Institute vs. Marino Institiute of Education 3G Pitch Kingspan Breffni PK
  • Tue 03 Feb 2015
  • 11:30amConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Senior B
    Presentation College Headford vs. Carrick-on-Shannon Community School Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 2 Championship 2015
    Mary Immaculate College Limerick vs. Limerick IT MICL Grounds
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 3 Championship 2015
    G.M.I.T. vs. Athlone Institute of Technology Carnmore Hurling Club
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 3 Championship 2015
    Institute of Technology Sligo vs. Cork Institute of Technology TBC
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 3 Championship 2015
    Maynooth University vs. Dublin City University Maynooth University North Campus
  • 2:45pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    Institute of Technology Tralee vs. IT Carlow IT Tralee GAA Pitche
  • 3:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    University College Dublin vs. Athlone Institute of Technology Belfield
  • 6:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    Maynooth University vs. University of Limerick Maynooth University North Campus
  • 7:00pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Senior A
    Summerhill College Sligo vs. Roscommon CBS Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais 2015
    St Patricks College Thurles vs. Galway T.I TBC
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn na Mac Leinn 2015
    The Law School vs. RCSI TBC
  • 7:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Senior Hurling League Division 2 2014/15
    Ulster University Jordanstown vs. N.U.I. Galway TBC
  • 8:00pm2015 Ulster Senior
    Football Club League
    Ballinderry vs. Lavey Ballinderry
  • 8:00pmS.F.L.
    Thomastown vs. James Stephens Piltown
  • Wed 04 Feb 2015
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Senior D
    Colaiste Cholmcille, Indreabhain vs. St Cuans Loughgeorge Galway
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Senior B
    St. Mary`s College Galway vs. St. Joseph`s College Galway Eire Og
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football Championship Senior B
    Holy Rosary College Mountbellew vs. Ballinamore Secondary School Elphin GAA Club
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    Ulster University Jordanstown vs. Dublin City University Jordanstown
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Hurling Division 1 Championship 2015
    Dublin Institute of Technology vs. Mary Immaculate College Limerick Parnells GAA Club
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Hurling Division 1 Championship 2015
    Maynooth University vs. St Patricks-Mater Dei Maynooth University North Campus
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn na Mac Leinn 2015
    National College of Ireland vs. G.M.I.T. Mayo Clontarf GAA
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn na Mac Leinn 2015
    Cadets vs. Ulster University Magee McDonagh Pitch
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn na Mac Leinn 2015
    G.M.I.T. Letterfrack vs. N.W.R.C. Letterfrack
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Ryan Cup 2015
    Institute of Technology Tralee vs. Institute of Technology Tallaght IT Tralee GAA Pitche
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher 'B' Football Championship 2015
    Ulster University Jordanstown vs. University of Limerick TBC
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher 'B' Football Championship 2015
    Queens University Belfast vs. Dublin Institute of Technology The Dub
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher 'B' Football Championship 2015
    Dublin City University vs. University College Cork Dublin City University Sportsgrounds
  • 3:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher 'B' Football Championship 2015
    University College Dublin vs. N.U.I. Galway Belfield
  • 3:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Sigerson Cup 2015
    N.U.I. Galway vs. St Mary's University College Dangan
  • Thu 05 Feb 2015
  • 12:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher 'B' Hurling Championship 2015
    Dublin Institute of Technology vs. Limerick IT Parnells GAA Club
  • 12:30pmMayo Post Primary
    Senior Hurling Competition
    St. Gerald`s College vs. St Colmans Claremorris Connacht GAA Centre 3G Pitch
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League 1st Year A
    St. Jarlath`s College Tuam vs. St. Colman`s College Milltown GAA Club
  • 1:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    University of Limerick vs. G.M.I.T. UL Grounds
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fergal Maher Cup 2015
    G.M.I.T. Letterfrack vs. St Mary's University College Letterfrack
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fergal Maher Cup 2015
    Galway/Roscommon ETB vs. Marino Institiute of Education Liam Mellowes
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fergal Maher Cup 2015
    Cork Colleges of Further Education vs. Institute of Technology Sligo TBC
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais 2015
    Belfast Metropolitan College vs. Stranmillis UC GFC
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 2 Championship 2015
    Waterford Institute of Technology vs. Institute of Technology Tralee Carriganore
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 2 Championship 2015
    Institute of Technology Tallaght vs. DkIT Thomas Davis All Weather Pitch
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn Padraig Mac Diarmada 2015
    Letterkenny Institute of Technology vs. Instititute of Technology Blanchardstown O Donnell Park
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    St Patricks-Mater Dei vs. Cork Institute of Technology St Pats
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    University College Dublin vs. Dublin City University Belfield
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    Dublin Institute of Technology vs. Limerick IT Parnells GAA Club
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    N.U.I. Galway vs. University College Cork N.U.I. Galway
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 2 Championship 2015
    Instititute of Technology Blanchardstown vs. St Patrick's College IT Blanchardstown GAA Pitch
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    Maynooth University vs. University of Limerick Maynooth University North Campus
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    G.M.I.T. vs. St Mary's University College/Ulster University Jordanstown TBC
  • 2:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais 2015
    Winner of Round 1 vs. Mater Dei
  • 2:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    Dublin Institute of Technology vs. University College Dublin St. David's CBS
  • 2:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    Mary Immaculate College Limerick vs. Waterford Institute of Technology MICL Grounds
  • 2:30pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fresher Football Division 1 Championship 2015
    Dublin City University vs. University College Cork Dublin City University Sportsgrounds
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Ryan Cup 2015
    St Patricks College Thurles vs. Athlone Institute of Technology Templetuohy
  • 7:00pmIndependent.ie HE
    GAA Fitzgibbon Cup 2015
    Maynooth University vs. IT Carlow Maynooth University North Campus
  • Fri 06 Feb 2015
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Juvenile B
    Carrick-on-Shannon Community School vs. Ballyhaunis Community School Ballyleague
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Juvenile D
    Winner of Semi-Final 1 vs. Winner of Semi-Final 2
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Juvenile B
    Winner of Section B vs. Winner of Quarter Final 1
  • 12:30pmConnacht GAA Post
    Primary Football League Juvenile B
    Winner of Section C vs. Winner of Quarter Final 2
  • 7:45pm2015 Hasting Cup
    Tipperary vs. Laois Crettyard GAA Club
  • 8:00pmDivision 1
    Football League
    Tubber vs. Beal Atha Chomair Tubber
  • 8:00pmDivision 1
    Football League
    Rhode vs. Na Seamróga Rhode
  • 8:00pmDivision 2
    Football League
    Walsh Island vs. Shannonbridge Walsh Island
  • 8:00pmDivision 2
    Football League
    Erin Rovers GAA Club vs. Tullamore/An Tulach Mhór Pullough
  • 8:00pmDivision 2
    Football League
    Pairc de Grás/Gracefield vs. Bracknagh Gracefield
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football B League
    Simonstown vs. Skryne Simonstown
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football B League
    Donaghmore/Ashbourne vs. Duleek-Bellewstown Ashbourne
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football B League
    Nobber vs. Blackhall Gaels Nobber
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football B League
    Longwood vs. Boardsmill Longwood
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football B League
    St Mary's vs. Dunderry Donore
  • 8:00pmAll County
    Football B League
    Ballinlough vs. Meath Hill Ballinlough
  • 8:15pm2015 Ulster
    Intermediate Football Club League
    Steelstown vs. St Colman's Drumaness Owenbeg
View all Fixtures & Results >
GAA POLL

If you could choose one of the 2014 All-Stars to train with, who would it be?

Daily News


Point Taken: Steven McDonnell on Football

Friday, October 12, 2012

For many people in Ireland and even abroad the GAA club is the most important place for them. This is where we all have a real sense of belonging and we all know we are part of something really special. Quite simply, the club is the hub of everything that is good within the community. I often think about what life would be like without our clubs and the GAA in it. It’s not a pretty thought and one that I could never really imagine.

I have been really lucky that I have been a member of my own club Killeavy since I was 8 years old. That’s 25 years that I can proudly say have been spent being a part of something great. When we think of our clubs, we think of the volunteers, the managers and coaches of all the teams, the bus drivers, the parents, the various committees that keep the club running smoothly. We think of the players that dedicate themselves on countless nights throughout the year just to have the honour of wearing that jersey with pride. You think of the whole community and what it represents. You think of the personalities. Every club has them. This is what it is all about.

Over the last couple of years I often thought about retiring from the county scene at a stage in my career when I knew I was still capable of playing at a high level. More importantly, I thought about doing it when I knew I could still give my club at least one or two good seasons of football, as I had missed a lot down through the years because of county commitments. I was fortunate in one sense in that most of the years I played for Armagh, we got an extended run in the All-Ireland championship. At the same time, this meant that the amount of game time I was getting with Killeavy was minimal.

This was certainly one part of playing county football that I never really enjoyed and most county players will back me up on this. You want to play as many games as you possibly can, and for most of us, representing our club is just as important as playing for our county.

Some people don’t always see it that way though. In Killeavy, I know there were lads who would often have said that I was not committed to the team because of my involvement with Armagh. But I was lucky down the years with my club managers as they always allowed me the leeway that is required to commit properly to county football. They understood what was needed.

But every club has their knockers and critics and we are no different. In terms of the criticism I have got, I have heard it regularly said down the years that I am someone who has never done things for the club. I heard it said that while I was a great ambassador for the club as a result of playing for Armagh, I wasn’t a great club person. It is a shame that there are people in clubs with those kinds of narrow views, but I believe they are always outweighed by the fantastic achievers that we have.

They are outweighed by the true club people who commit to something and go and get it done and don’t just criticise it. There are so many people in that category in Killeavy, but at the same time, it would be wrong to say that I was always happy with the club and some of the things that went on. For example, this time last year I went to Australia to play for Ireland and I never even got as much as a good luck card before I left from the club. Now I’m not saying that I wanted some kind of big deal made, but a small acknowledgement from my club of the fact that I was going to represent Ireland would have meant a lot to me. I know it was nothing personal against me, but I think that it was a case of the club maybe taking something and someone for granted and not being aware of it.

So when our chairman asked me to bring the Cormac McAnallen Cup to the club for our 125 celebrations, I let him know exactly how I felt, and I didn’t bring the cup to the club. As I said, I felt that I had been a bit taken for granted at times and this should never happen in a club when a player is representing their county, or their province or their country. As long as I am involved with Killeavy, no county player representing us will be taken for granted again. Why should they be when they bring so much honour and pride to the area?

You have to look at it every way though. When you think of people like Colm Cooper, Henry Shefflin, Cora Staunton and Bernard Brogan, they are the marquee names within the GAA at present but they would never have been able to make it to the top without the unrivalled dedication from all of their coaches from a very early age. It is the volunteers throughout all of our clubs that ultimately make the superstars out of our players. I can remember all of my managers from every age group I played at and each and every one of them taught me something that has always stuck. That could be anything from toe-tapping to making space.

I remember my first ever match. I started at left half back against Silverbridge in an U10 league game which was played in Killeavy. We won and I could not believe I got playing even though it was in defence. I did not care a damn about that though. I actually played in defence for two years until one of my managers finally realised that this was not the place for me and I slowly but surely made my way up to the full forward line. When I look back at my first ever match, the real achievement from it is that I still remain good mates with most of the boys I played with that day. That is what is really special about our clubs. The togetherness and the bonds formed. The unique friendships that are with you forever.

You often hear it said that being successful and winning silverware with your club is a uniquely special feeling. This is because you win with the guys that you have grown up playing with and that you know so well. I now know that this is the case. Last weekend I captained our team to the Armagh Intermediate Championship. This was my first ever final for our senior team and the sense of relief and satisfaction when the final whistle went was immense. James Duffy, Paul Watters and myself have dedicated a combined total of 51 years to our senior team and this was our first victory at this level.

Other members of our team are lucky to get to taste success so early in their senior careers. Guys like Caolan Mone, Eugene Coogan, David Markey and James Donnelly. But the good thing about this win is that now that they have tasted success, it will hopefully drive them on to strive for even more. I realised this year that regardless of whether you are playing county football or club football, if you want to be successful you must dedicate a huge amount of time and effort to the cause. That is one of the reasons why it is extremely difficult to balance playing both club and county football. It is actually almost impossible.

I can only speak for Killeavy on this, but I am sure most clubs are the same. Club training is gradually getting up to the demands and standards of senior intercounty training. The same standards are being set and because of this, what we now have are teams that are fitter, stronger and more skilful than what went before them. We also get our food after training together and spend hours doing recovery sessions, such as going to the sea.

A lot of club managers are learning so much now from intercounty set ups and that is the reason why we are all benefitting from it. The demands of our games are getting greater and greater but so are the expectations of achieving. Not only are the managers learning a lot from the intercounty set ups but the players are buying into what is happening and what it takes to achieve silverware. This is the way forward.

Fundraising events are always fantastic occasions in clubs. It is these events that help our clubs financially and without them most clubs would struggle. You have the usual events such as the X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, quizzes and even things like breakfast mornings. It is at these functions that you see the real community spirit coming to the fore. We held a breakfast morning two weeks ago and over 400 people from the area and beyond attended. They wanted to lend their support and the atmosphere in our hall at 10am on a Sunday morning was just fantastic. We are also holding a Strictly Come Dancing event in December and I have no doubt at all that it will receive the same amount of support, perhaps even more than all of our other events have.

The real future for all of our clubs though, is the kids. They are vital for the development of every club in the country. Every Sunday morning we have almost 100 kids down in the park developing their skills. They are even as young as four, which already gives them a four year head start on me when I started playing. I know my own neighbouring club Dromintee spend their Friday evenings coaching their youngsters. This is going on all over the place and yet it is the volunteers’ work in this area that often goes unnoticed. Almost every weekend there is a blitz of some sort going on. These are fantastic for the kids as they just want to pull on a jersey and really feel part of a team. This offers them that opportunity and you can see the enjoyment they get out of it. You see the jerseys hanging off them and the shorts looking like a pair of tracksuit bottoms on them. This is all brilliant and is one of the main reasons why we all love our clubs.

My own kids are very much part of the Killeavy set up now. I hope they always will be as I have had fantastic opportunities in my own life because of the club. Life now is all about our kids and the future of our games need our kids to be involved. Don’t ever be afraid to get involved yourself. Remember, without our clubs, where would we be and what would we be doing? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

This is the latest of Steven McDonnell's exclusive 'Point Taken' football columns, which have featured on GAA.ie throughout the summer. The opinions expressed in this column are personal and are not necessarily those of the Association.

Click here to read Steven's earlier columns for GAA.ie




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