Harps Under 13’s Enjoy Trip to The Kingdom

posted 9 Sept 2015, 00:33 by Skerries Harps

The team set off at 6.45 on Saturday 5th September as 20 cars loaded with 31 players and 27 parents headed to the Beautiful County Kerry to take part in the Colm Cooper (“The Gooch”) Gaelic Football Invitational Blitz 2015 in Dr. Crokes ground, Killarney. 

Cars started to trickle in at 11am to a beautiful sunny and warm morning at the foot of the Macgillycuddy Reeks. The plan was four matches at 10 minutes a side starting at 12.15. Given we had 31 players that were to field one team of 13 a-side, we decided to create two equal teams and give all players as much game time as possible; with two games per team.  We gave a good account of ourselves and all players showed off their skills to the best of their abilities under the occasional watchful eye of The Gooch.

We finished up in plenty of time to get back to the hotel to take up residence (take over) the hotel bar for the Dublin/Mayo game, the presence of a fervent Mayo supporter in our midst adding to the occasion!  Much relief ensued as Dublin took control ensuring everybody remained in good spirits for the remainder of the evening.  At dinner, we celebrated Cian Ensor’s 13th birthday with Dublin crested cake for all. This is a birthday that Cian will not easily forget.

In the evening the young players entertained themselves with various games, tv, internet and just chat and fun. The players behaved impeccably and were fantastic representatives of themselves, their families, club and county. This is a great team that really do get on very well together, both on and off the pitch and the bonds they create in trips like this will last a lifetime.

For mentors, parents and players alike, it is both a privilege and honour to be asked to compete with U13s footballers from all over Ireland; including Down, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Kerry. For Skerries, this tournament is less about football and more about team building/bonding with a chance to be in the presence of football legends in their own time. Colm made himself fully available to all teams and individual players for group pictures, and individual mentors and parent pictures. To close the event, Skerries Harps were presented with a framed group shot of the team with Colm that will take pride of place in our beautiful new club house.

A sincere note of thanks to Dr. Crokes and indeed the man himself, Colm Cooper. If you needed a reason to love the GAA and there are hundreds of reasons you should but just this one reason alone is enough; that world-class players, like Colm Cooper, are willing to give back much of themselves to promote the sport they clearly love with deep passion.

The under 13 mentors.