Training has commenced at Tir Conaill Harps from underage to the men's and ladies teams.
The underage teams were the first to return back to training, with good numbers at every session and some new faces. Both the Men's and Ladies teams returned towards the end of February and have also been well attended in anticipation for the upcoming season.
The club will be hoping to build on the success of last season when the Men's team were crowned Scottish Intermediate League Champions. The Men's team announced the return of Gerry Gavan as manager for the season ahead. Belfast man, Gavan, arrived in Glasgow in 2000 and quickly joined Harps as a player and helped the club to win the Senior Championship in 2001. Gerry went on to become manager in 2007-2008 and then Scotland County Manager in 2009-2010.
Club Chairperson, Anton Gallagher said on Gerry's appointment, "Delighted to welcome Gerry Gavan back to the club as the new adult men's team manager. Gerry was a great player for the club in the early 2000s, and at the time I was a teenager playing in the Senior Team and guys like Gerry ensured commitment, discipline and respect for the game. As we continue to build the club, I am sure Gerry’s presence, knowledge and calming influence will have the desired impact on the team."
On the outlook for the club, Anton said, "We have a huge year ahead at Tir Conaill Harps with the opening of the new pitch scheduled for April when all our teams will get the benefit of having our very own home for the first time since the closure of Pearse Park in 2006. Our underage teams have all been back training since late January, with the mens and ladies teams returning in middle of February. It’s been an enthusiastic start to the year with the numbers in attendance very high which we intend to do everything we can to not just sustain but build on that. We are also hosting the British University Championships at Cambuslang for men and ladies throughout March, which we are very proud to be in a position to do so. In April we are having a massive weekend of underage fixtures at Cambuslang as we host an underage blitz tournament for teams from all over Britain. On the same weekend we are hosting teams from Dublin and Roscommon as we officially open the pitch on Sunday 23rd April 2023, which we hope to welcome a huge crowd of people to come and see the club in all its glory."
The Ladies team are looking ahead to their third season, having been formed during covid. It's fair to say it has been stop start in terms of playing time, as Ladies Team Manager, Paul Doogan told us, "We are looking to have as many games as possible, in the past two years we have only had around five matches. We are willing to play at any level, be it seven a side or fifteen. Looking longer term we want to have a couple of teams competing from junior level upwards, it might take a couple of years but we will get there. Of the current crop of players, we have a mix of levels, from an All Ireland winner at University level, to someone that has played County level to players brand new to the game."
The club are looking forward to using their new pitch which has had redevelopment work carried out including new drainage, goal posts and netting to complement the playing surface for the coming season.