Things have now been wrapped up for 2016 and this is an update from around the club and from many of the teams.
First up a note from our Chairman – Alan O’Brien
Firstly I would like to wish all our members and their families a happy Christmas and Happy New Year. I would like to wish a special welcome to all our new members and give them a brief introduction to the club.
Templeogue Synge Street GFC is a GAA club dedicated to Gaelic Football. Founded in 1999 when Synge Street PP GFC amalgamated with Templeogue GFC. We have both mens and ladies sections and serving the Templeogue, Terenure, Rathgar areas all the way to Synge Street on the South Circular Road. We have teams at every age group and welcome players of all levels of skill and ability.
Due to the growth of our club we have a number of Grounds. Dolphin Park is our Primary Club owned home ground, located on the Crumlin road between Lorreto College and the Canal. It consists of 2 Adult Pitches and 3 Juvenile pitches. Bushy Park is the main ground for our underage section and the VEC grounds in Terenure Village is a hive of activity every Saturday morning.
The Club are planning a major re-development of our home Grounds in Dolphin Park. The Club owns the 14 acres in Dolphin Park and is a fantastic facility for matches and training. The changing facilities are old and in need of a complete overall. The Club is planning to demolish the existing changing facilities and build a new facility which will provide changing facilities for men and women, a club gym and meeting room. This will be a vital part of our strategic plan for the club and provide state of the art facilities for all the boys and girls playing with the club now and in the future.
We are also actively pursuing a more permanent arrangement in the VEC Grounds in Terenure as part of an overall community initiative in conjunction with the Terenure 2020 committee and the Terenure Rangers Football Club and this is something we hope to be hearing more of in the coming year.
As you will see from the contributions in this Newsletter it was another busy year on and off the playing fields and we look forward to seeing you all back on the pitches and side lines in 2017.
Lastly, can I pause and pay respect to the members who passed away this year. Graham Mullvaney, John Donnelly & Frank McHugh. Loyal members to the club who will be missed by all.
Next Up a Brief Note from our treasurer Sean McKiernan
As I tie up the loose ends for 2016 accounts I can see that we are in a decent place. My thanks to the managers and members for making my job that bit easier over the year with your co-operation and help all along. To the fund raising group led by Ian Coughlan – thanks too. Without this effort we can’t survive as the club cannot function on the subs alone.
But most of all thanks to the members for supporting our various events through the year. It is hugely appreciated and it allows us provide football to this community on a solid footing. I can assure everyone that lots of hard work is going on behind the scenes to secure our sustainable future and I look forward to the 2017 in particular with genuine optimism. Finally from me, our AGM 2017 is currently planned for Wednesday the 11th of January 8.30pm at White Fathers. Pop it in the diary.
PS I look forward to seeing all the subs in on time in January & February – sorry, couldn’t resist!
So enough from the suits! What happened on the grass this year?
A great 2016 with a very committed bunch of girls. This group has really started to gel. Standout performances away to Na Fianna and at home to St Mary's Saggart on a very wet day in the VEC. The girls also showed the U12 boys a thing or two when playing with them in the Mini All Ireland in the summer. Lily O' Reilly represented the club at Dublin u 12 development squad. Lead mentor Cormac O' Reilly 086 2214484 supported by Matt O'Dell and Noleen Lynch supplying the football know how!
U9 Girls Squad
So this year we gathered with 10 or 12 girls in January and finished the year with nearly 40. On the pitch skills have greatly improved from barely scoring a point in their 1st match against Crokes, moving on to drawing and winning a few fixtures throughout the year and only very narrowly losing to Crokes on the last day of the season in all 3 games! Proof positive that we are getting there fast. Determination and plenty of practice, not to mention the great help from both the mothers and fathers who have stepped forward to help train the girls and run the team admin etc. Next year we plan to keep the Group together but split the age groups (2007 + 2008) for matches which will help to progress the girls. This means our current 2008 girls will play again at under 9 level, and our 2007 (under 10) matches will move to Saturday's.
The TSS under 11s boys had a very enjoyable and successful 2016. We fielded four 11-a-side teams throughout the year and were very competitive in all games. The group made the trip to Croke Park to watch Dublin V Kerry in the Allianz leagues in February and they all really enjoyed the TSS Mini All Irelands held in September. Thanks to all coaches and players for all their hard work in 2016. The group are already looking forward to the competitive under 12 leagues in 2017 where we will register results and see how we fare in Divisions for the first time.
This ends our first competitive year, with all three under 12 teams performing well in their respective divisions. The first team finished 8th in a very strong Division 2 league. The 2nd team finished joint 5th in Division 6. The third team finished 5th in Division 10. While the league tables do not lie we feel they don’t fully reflect the progress the lads have made throughout the year or indeed the fact that many of the games lost were by very narrow margins. We enjoyed a great few days playing the ini All Ireland with the U12 girls. The boys also got to the final of the 1916 Tournament in Pearse Park run by Boden - narrowly beaten at the death by Boden. Under 13s, here we come...
Dave was firstly our Club Coach and Games promotion officer helping to develop a great academy. But he was also our Senior Mens Team Coach. He has decided not to continue as senior team manager for 2017 and has rotated to another Club as GPO. Thanks for the contribution over the years Dave and best wishes for the future. Daves parting message to us was his honest expectation that TSS will be competing for Division 1 and County Championship glory in the not too distant future, such is the talent he sees coming through.
A warm welcome to the club to Kevin O'Donovan who takes over from Dave as Club Coach. He is settling in very well and we look forward to working with him over the next few years.
Mens 3rd Team
The third adult team had a tough year this year with the passing of our friend and captain Graham Mulvaney. The lads rallied around and won the 2 games after Graham's passing a great way to honour him. The rest of the season was a tough slog but with some positives with about 10 different minor players getting their first taste of adult football and the future looks bright going forward if we can keep the lads involved as they pass on from minor. Onwards and upwards for next year with new management hopefully in place by then. Thanks to Ian, who is moving to Wicklow, for all his commitment over the year.
Our Wonderful Sponsors
Can we simply say a huge ‘THANKS’ to all of our sponsors. Without this support from local businesses we couldn’t survive. It is genuinely appreciated and we look forward to supporting our sponsors as best we can through 17. Needless to say, we can never have enough sponsors, so if anyone can help in this regard, contact, in the first instance Club Chairman Alan O’Brien or Club Treasurer Sean McKiernan. Finally, we would ask that where you can please support our sponsors.
Including our academy we have almost 1,000 playing members. It is highly likely that we will pass the 1,000 mark in 2017. We have never been so big. The great work by all the committees is paying off. This size matters when we are trying to secure facilities for the club. When we are meeting the County Board. When lobbying local politicians. Given we are a football only club we are fast becoming a very significant club in national terms.
Senior Ladies 2016
After gaining promotion to Division 3 - the season's first match back in early April ended in a heavy defeat to O'Tooles - Welcome to Division 3! However, over the course of the year we galvanised and came out the right end of all our remaining league matches - resulting in a league-play off in October vs Round Towers, Clondalkin. The play-off match was highly competitive and all-square at half time, but after two superbly worked early second half goals we earned the title of Division 3 League Winners on a final score line of 3-13 to 1-8. In the Championship we did extremely well to get to another final but just did not play like we know we are able to on final night and were beaten by very strong and determined Naomh Barrog team.
The Senior Ladies is backboned by about 15 girls, that have been playing with the club since Under 9, and it's fantastic to see their progression to the Senior ranks.
We are looking forward to the huge challenge that playing in Division 2 next year will present, and we hope that, as this team has done year on year, is rise to that challenge.
The U13 boys had a great year capturing the Division 2 League title, winning 11 of their 14 games. They ground out some very good results in a number of close games and showed good improvement over the course of the year. They also picked up some silverware at the Donabate invitational blitz and were unlucky not to get over the line in a very strong Kilmacud blitz held earlier in the year. Division 1 awaits for the lads in their Feile year. The Division 5 team competed well in a very strong Division which included a large number of single team clubs. The lads will benefit from dropping back a Division in 2017 and this will help them continue their good progression.
A very successful first year at age grade level. We grew numbers all year finishing with 64 players! We finished the year with an end of season trip to Skerries on Saturday 26th November followed by trip to Ardgillan Park & McDonalds!! We are fielding 6 teams at Under 9's (both competing in three team leagues) and are always keen to attract more coaches to help out. Training next year on Thursday evenings at 6.30pm !!
The minor girls played in division one of the league this year. It was always going to be tough league with our young squad but the girls gave a good account of themselves against the bigger clubs in Dublin beating Na Fianna A team along the way. After the summer the girls played in the division two championship and the goal at the start of the year was to get to the final. The girls achieved their goal. The win in the semi final by 5 points over st maurs was brilliant, a night where everyone was playing at the top of their game. In the final which was played in mid November the girls did their best but came up against a more experienced Fingallians outfit. We were very proud of their efforts and achievements this year. Six of the girls including our captain Claire Hiney will be moving on to senior now and we hope they continue on playing football for the club for many years to come. Thanks girls.
Also a special word of thanks to water boy and kit man Pat Hiney.
The TSS U9 Boys team have 60 boys and 12 coaches in the group. There are regularly 50 boys training each Monday evening and we field 5 teams of 9 every match day. The boys have developed their skills impressively and performed very well in matches during 2016. We were a force to be reckoned with throughout the season and competitive against all the biggest clubs in Dublin. Our aim is to continue to develop footballers & build teams that are competitive at the highest level in Dublin and focus on developing the boys "Belief, Desire & Capabilities" to do so. We instil the message that as a team we have a "spirit that cannot be broken"! We had plenty of fun during the year with a team trip to Croke Park to support the Dubs, a May Mini League, a "Superstars" competition and the Club's fantastic "Mini All-Ireland". We are always looking for new boys to join the squad - please contact Ken King (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Declan Carolan (email@example.com) if interested.
The U13 girls team have had a very busy 2016. The team competed well in Division 2 in the League against some of the best teams in Dublin, losing a number of games by very tight margins. Over the Easter Holidays the girls represented the Club in Feile 2016 as there was no U14 girls team in TSS in 2016. This was a real highlight for the girls, we had a strong team and were delighted that three 2002 girls from the U15 team were able to play with us. While we didn’t progress out of the Group stage, the girls really enjoyed the experience and did the club proud especially when they beat local rivals Ballyboden St. Enda’s in their final match. U13 Girls team train on Wednesday evening in White Fathers 6.30 - 7.30. We have three mentors, Siobhan Duggan, Jim Brennan and Colin Duffy. Over the year we have an average of 20-25 girls turning up for training and on match day. The high levels of participation are a testament to the fantastic team spirit and camaraderie amongst the girls, particularly given the fact that many of the girls have had other pressures this year what with starting secondary school and playing a range of other sports. We are always open to new players and we have continue to recruit new players during 2016 (and are hoping to continue this trend into 2017). Any girls born 2003 interested in taking up Gaelic football please contact Siobhan @ 086-8587670.
2009 Girls Gain Independence – Denis Bolands reflection on 2016
Having spent the last three years in the general nursery with my daughter and watching without getting involved, I learned something by getting involved in the 2009 Girls set up. I learnt it’s much more fun being involved rather than just watching and I learnt girls play football for different reasons to boys. There comes a time when girls need their independence and the 2009 girls though small in numbers, gained a form of independence and started to train together as a group this year within the nursery. With Independence they have blossomed and enjoy it more being together as a girl only group. What girls want from football is fun and friendship as well as football, I think the priority with girls and boys are different. So my advice to parents of girls is twofold; get involved yourself and get the girls together as a group. Your daughters will enjoy it more and so will you!
The under 16 girls competed in Division One again this year for the league and while the results don't display the closeness of the matches, the girls competed well in this high division and did the club proud. The standard of football displayed by our girls was excellent with some close and tense matches. We really look forward to 17.
Special Focus on Junior A Adult Mens Football Team – What a year!
A club to be strong at adult Senior level, need strong teams behind them playing at Junior and minor level. Our Junior A team are motoring and
had a great year.
Whenever you come across a successful Junior football team you expect to find the right mix of two key player types;
1. The older experienced footballers who pull the strings and drive the dynamic in the squad.
2. Younger fitter faster footballers who run all day and listen to the experienced players.
This is a tried and tested blend and it works. After being out of football management for a few years, and not knowing exactly the dynamic of the team, we were pleasantly surprised to find the mix of players in our Junior A squad exceeded expectations. The older experienced players were well able to run all day and the younger players liked pulling strings too. At the beginning of the season this made us very hopeful and you start to think what might be possible if the general requirements come into play.
1. Players who have skill.
2. Players who will train and be committed.
3. Players to remain injury free.
4. A little bit of luck in every match.
We ticked all of those boxes for most of the season.
Our Championship campaign was always going to be a challenge. Junior Championship is a minefield of good Intermediate teams who have not progressed to Intermediate Championship, who are still playing in a Junior Championship. Success in the early rounds led us to a Quarter Final game with a Kilmacud Crokes Intermediate Team. We played as good as we played all season, perhaps missed a couple of chances that we might have scored another day but we came up short. With respect we were beaten by a better team on the day. Crokes played excellent football and went on to win the Junior A Championship!
We won the historical Conlon Cup, first presented in 1949, in a thrilling final with Tomas Davis. Interestingly up to the 2016 final, Thomas Davis and Synge Street Past Pupils had jointly won the cup the same number of times (5), more than any other teams in the county. Templeogue Synge Street winning the Cup in 2016, by extension, takes us into the lead in number of wins.
League success was our season stated target. We won every League game bar one, which we lost to Cuala. On the evening we played Cuala, our little bit of luck, deserted us. Cuala lost one game all season also, but they went on to win the League, based on the head to head result versus TSS. We realigned our goals to succeed in the promotion play-offs. Drawn against Ballyboden St Endas whom we had previously beaten in the League, left us confident that we could succeed. Maybe too confident. In the play-off game, we didn't perform at all in the first half, but then blew them out of the water in the second half. Just their lead at half time was too much and we just ran out of time to catch them.
On reflection its frustrating that the stars aligned almost perfectly for us. Almost. You know by the little things that everybody was doing to be successful that players could smell success, you really know by the bigger things like players are flying home from abroad and travelling overnight to be back for matches. In 2016 football moved up a lot more in peoples priority list. Other things got sacrificed, family and partners got in behind the players and the squad fed off each others enthusiasm. In a dressing room which had a player age span from 17 to 38, the vibe was phenomenal. Age was just a number. Youth fed off the experience of older players, Older players fed off the buzz of younger players. It was tremendous experience for all of the management team.
We know we were the best football team in the Junior 1 League, just got a little unlucky and perhaps a little complacent in the first half of the final hurdle but definitely everybody involved knows there is unfinished business. 2017 is the year to resolve that. Stars don't stay aligned forever, In 2016 they were almost perfectly aligned. In 2017 hopefully they will be.......
As the year draws to an end we remember two players tragically lost during the year. John Donnelly at the age of 36 was on the managers list of players to round up at the start of the year for one last hurrah, tragically he died unexpectedly on New Years Eve. Though not with us as a player, he was never far from our thoughts all year. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam. Graham Mulvaney at the age of 39, captained the Junior B team, but he trained with the Junior As. Graham was a man of simple pleasures, kicking football and taking every opportunity to floor players. Training was incomplete unless he had that opportunity. He floored big and small and very few escaped his shoulder once in his crosshairs. Off the field Graham was a gentleman and a true clubman. He unfortunately succumbed unexpectedly to diabetes related complications. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam.
Special word of thanks to Sonya O'Brien, Daire Walsh, Frank Deasy, Conor McKiernan, Ronan Devitt & Brian Kelly for maintaining the website pages, Facebook & Twitter accounts etc. over the years keep you up to date with all that is going on at the Club .Just more of the behind the scenes effort by more of our volunteers.
Last but not least
Denis & Eoghan – Congratulations on picking up yet another All Ireland Medal. We are so lucky to have these guys at our club and contributing at every level. For example, they gave a great talk to the Under 12 boys and the excitement when they showed up at the Academy with Sam had to be seen to believed. Selfless with their limited time. Thanks lads.
So that’s all we have for now. As you can see, there is lots going on. Thanks to all the volunteers who keep the show on the road selflessly. Lots more great stories are to be written in 2017. Stay tuned to hear all about them.
Have a great Christmas – see you all in the new year ! Onwards and upwards -bigger and better.
Your TSS GFC Executive
U14 Boys B Team, Feile Champions 2016 - No pressure Jonathan the 2017 U14s .....