This was our fourth season with the Academy. We registered well over 300 players aged between 5 and 15!
“Our aim is for all players to develop skills, enjoy competing, to learn, to form friendships and to go home safe.”
Our age groups were as follows:
U6+U7 – very basic soccer based games and activities, with lots of movement games
U8 – more movement games and slightly more advanced soccer based activities and games
U9 – more soccer specific games and structure with several blitzes** throughout the season
**A blitz is a series of friendly matches with another club/s which take place on one day in one location
FUN Soccer (U10-U13) – Soccer based activities and games once weekly and matches among ourselves on a Saturday. 7 a side blitzes with our own club U11 and U12 teams were organised also.
Girls Only (U10-U13) – First season of having a girls only group was quite successful. The girls played 2 friendly matches away to Durrow Lions towards the end of the season. We are hoping to have a girls U14 team next season.
Footie Fives (1st-3rd Years) – This was a group started in order to provide football for players who may not otherwise have an opportunity to play. We played 3 friendly matches against our own club U15 and U16B teams towards the end of the season.
All groups except the girls and footie fives started in August 2014 and finished on 30th May 2015. The girls and footie fives started in October and finished in May.
Player of the Week
This season Ger Campbell introduced a Player of the Week award for U6+U7, U8, U9, FUN Soccer and Girls groups. The player of the week was chosen by the coaches and to be in contention to earn it, players must have attended both sessions, been very well behaved and helpful to their coaches and team-mates. This award proved to be a great success as it provided us with the opportunity to be visible on Facebook every week and also to get a small amount of sponsorship.
Player of the Week Sponsors
Hughes Pharmacy Portlaoise
Shooting Stars Creche and Montessori Ballyfin
O’Loughlins Hotel, Portlaoise
Tommy and Catherine McEvoy
We were able to invest in 50 new footballs and 5 sets of pop up goals because of these generous donations.
Academy / Club Camps
We ran 2 camps at Halloween and Easter.
Shots and Stoppers – Academy and Club registered players – U9 up to U14
Academy Camp – Academy registered players – U6 up to U8
These were both 3hr x 3 day camps and were very well attended but both Academy and club players!
All our coaches completed the FAI Child Welfare course in January, and have completed various FAI coach education courses throughout the season. We had only one workshop towards the end of the season which was very well attended. Ronan Collins came up from Cork and did an excellent presentation and practical session. We will definitely have him back again next season!
Our coaches for this season:
Head Coach: Brian Flannery (unfortunately was away for most of this season – a massive loss!)
Lead Coaches: Jayson Bergin, Shane Brophy, Ger Campbell, Dave McCall
Parent Coaches (U9s): Ciara Fogarty, Cliff Maher, Noel O’Sullivan, Maria Keane, John Farrell and Orlaith O’Reilly
Coaches: Derek McGinn, Martin Cullen, Cathal O’Connor, William Carroll, James Henderson, Dylan McCabe, Clodagh Donovan, Eoin O’Connor, Bernie Bowe, Jenny Conroy
Transition Year Helpers (Portlaoise College): Niamh Delaney, Aava Hearns, Vicki Myja, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Kayleigh O’Connor, Romeo Kubeka, Ger Ryan, Clodagh Keyes, Eoin Skehan
Academy Helpers: Konrad Gradowski, Ryan Gee, Lee Smyth
Administrator: Maura Brophy
Promotions Officer: Lisa Brophy
John Smyth has been a fabulous help in all things around Rossleighan since Keith Doheny left before Christmas. He just gets things done and is a great addition to our team!
Special mention must also go to Sylvia Gee, the driving force behind the entire project and the glue that holds it all together!