Like all other sections of the club, 2019 was a busy year for the juvenile boys section. First and foremost, the preparation for the year where all coaches and volunteers got their necessary certificates in order with all coaches NI Access approved, completed child protection courses and additionally all coaches undertook the GAA foundation course. In the coming year a number of these will progress on to take the level 1 coaching and further enhance the qualifications of our coaches to develop our underage teams
The completion of the Athletic development Programme which subsequently resulted in the club being awarded an Irish news Club, school and Volunteer Award for coaching initiative of the year. Then the restructuring of the underage football tournaments. These tournaments provided U8, U10 & U12 footballers with the opportunity to welcome other clubs to Warrenpoint for a festival of football weekend. In the spirit of the “Give respect, Get respect” mantra, it was truly a Festival of Football which was superbly organised
On field, the performances of our underage teams was great to see with; U6’s doing us proud in Clonduff, Carrickcruppen & in St. Marks during the blitzes they attende; U8’s continuing to perform very strongly at their blitzes winning a couple and coming runners up in another few. More importantly we are continuing to see good improvement in this groups core skills. Additionally the U8’s went on a day trip to Croke Park thanks to some great fundraising. The day trip was very memorable for all the players; U10’s organisation of home and away fixtures against 5 local clubs in a mini-league which is great to see. Also, the boys and girls from the U10 teams were delighted to represent the club in Pairc Esler on the day of the championship final providing a guard of honour to the 2 teams.
Strong performances from the U12s when numbers were available finishing towards the top end of their league. The massive development throughout the year from the U14s. The majority of these players were in their first year of playing 15 a side football on a full pitch and they must be congratulated for improving beyond recognition from the start to the end of the year. The U16’s reached the South Down Championship final while also finishing 2nd in the league and finally the Minors reached their league final undefeated.
On top of the above volunteers went into St Dallans to provide some after school coaching, we had a change in policy in relation to buses for away games which cess with a lot of parents staying to watch the underage teams and we provided tops to all coaches in the football section. A busy year!
Thank you to all parents who supported us throughout the year – the high attendance at games is always appreciated and we know the kids love showing off their skills in front of their parents. Above all else though, a big thank you to all coaches who helped out throughout the year. They give an awful lot of time each year between taking training courses, attending club meetings, coaching the teams and attending blitzes (which can be day long affairs !). Their commitment is to be commended and is done selflessly for the betterment of the club and the young players lives. The club would not function without these.