Gorey Community School benefit from joined up thinking
By John Harrington
Some clever joined up thinking has helped Gorey Community School reach Saturday’s Masita Post Primary Schools Drummond Cup (SF ‘B’) Final against Patrician High School of Carrickmacross.
The school has been very proactive in terms of developing strong links with their local GAA clubs and also have a productive relationship with the Wexford inter-county teams their players also play with.
Those open lines of communication have ensured their players benefit both from top-class facilities and coaching without ever being overburdened by training and playing demands.
“We wouldn't be in the position we're in if it wasn't for the feeder clubs to the school,” says Gorey team mentor, John O’Brien. “I know Kilanerin and Naomh Eanna and Castletown, huge work has gone in there with a committed bunch of coaches from U-7 or U-9, whenever they start. We’re just lucky to be in the position we are in to have them clubs to put into work.
“Currently the weather's pretty rubbishy outside and Castletown, we've the use of their indoor astroturf arena which is a great facility to have. There was no problem with Castletown letting us use that.
“We've played a couple of games up in Naomh Eanna as well when the school pitch was booked or unplayable and we also used Kilanerin's floodlights for a game.
“The school and clubs have to work together like that if you want to progress.”
This Gorey team has also benefited from significant help from Wexford GAA’s Gaelic Football Games Development Administrator, Anthony Masterson.
“Anthony does a lot of the coaching with the lads,” says O’Brien. “He oversees all the underage in the county and he knows what's where. Without Anthony these lads wouldn't really have progressed from first year onwards to the extent that they have.
“Just like we have a great relationship with our local clubs, we also have a great relationship with the county set-up. We're working together and managing what the kids are doing so they're not being burned out or doing too much of one thing.
“A lot of our lads are with the county under 20 panel. The training they're getting there is invaluable because they bring it into their school game as well. I think we have 12 or 13 lads with the county 20s at the moment.
“When you have the huge majority of your team training there, it comes back onto the school field as well with the school team. The quality of the training they're getting is invaluable.”
Two years ago this Gorey team missed out on the opportunity to potentially win a Leinster U-16 title because the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
From the start of this year they were on a mission to win a Leinster senior title and now they want to finish their time together with a flourish by winning All-Ireland honours.
“The lads know the potential they have,” says O’Brien. “They've been winning games and they know they can win games so when an occasion or an opportunity to win another Leinster title is taken away because of Covid, they wanted to achieve as much as they could this year.
“You're always going to be up against it in an All-Ireland Final, but we're happy with the gang we have and we know they can perform.”
Saturday, March 12
Post Primary Schools Drummond Cup (SF 'B') Final
Patrician Carrickmacross v Gorey Community School, Portarlington GAA, 2pm
Referee: Niall Ward (Westmeath)