By Mark Kane
Pre season continues for both Tir Conaill Harps men's and ladies' teams. The fixtures have recently been announced, and everyone at the club is looking forward to getting back into action.
The men's Intermediate team kick off with a match against Dalriada in the league opener on April 15th, and the men's Junior team kick off their league campaign on April 19th against Sands McSwiney's.
Recently appointed Men's coach Gerard Gavan returns for a second spell in charge, having also had a spell in charge of Scotland. He said,"It’s great to be back involved with Tir Conaill after so many years. I have always kept up to date with the clubs progress, and Anton has been in touch over the years, but the time just wasn’t right to commit the time needed to do the job properly. But with the recent great work undertaken by Anton and the board, a great new pitch and a clubhouse to operate from, the time now feels right."
Gerry is happy with preparations ahead of the new season. "Pre season training has been better than anticipated with 30 men out working hard and building towards the start of the competitive season. It’s great having experienced players and coaches on the management team and on the training field, so a big thanks to Damian Shannon, Conor McIvor, Paul Molloy, and Anton Gallagher.
"Two pre season games have given us some valuable game time as we work on bringing the training ground moves onto the pitch and build the fitness ahead of our first game versus Dalriada on April 16th . We want to do well and be competitive in every game we play, and hopefully, we will have some silverware at the end of the season for the lads to enjoy."
The ladies still have a bit of a wait until they get into league action with their league opener coming in May against Dunedin Connollys.
The youth teams have been involved in games at all age groups and continue to make great strides in learning the game. April will see more matches for mixed team U9s and U11s, Girls U12 and U14s, and Boys U13s.
All of the above age groups will be involved in blitz tournaments on April 22nd as the club welcomes teams from across Britain to celebrate the opening of the new Gaelic pitch.
The club was happy to host matches in the British University Men's and Ladies Championships over two weekends in March. Both weekends were well attended and saw some great action from all involved.