Clanna Gael Fontenoy: It’s the season to be jolly at Clanns

League Champions, U16 hurlers with team mentors, left to right: Ken O’Byrne, Pat Duffy, Conor Crowley and Nicky English (coach) Photos Conor Dodd and Felix O’Regan


By Felix O’Regan

There’s been plenty to celebrate around the Clanna Gael Fontenoy club in recent times.  And we haven’t even got to Christmas! Here are just some of the causes we’ve had for celebration. 

League Champions

Our U16 hurlers claimed the league title in their division by defeating Ballyboden St Endas in a playoff. This was the culmination of a great season which also saw them reach the final of the championship, only to lose out narrowly to a better team on the day.

Considering there were concerns at the beginning of the season about this team’s ability to field consistently not to mention win matches, all of the players have done tremendously well in achieving what they did – with the right assistance from their coach, Nicky English, and the team mentors, Pat Duffy, Ken O’Byrne and Conor Crowley. 

The critical playoff game itself was well under Clanns’ control for the greater part, save when Ballyboden mounted a strong rally in the closing stages – this despite the fact that Clanns were short a couple of first team choices due to injury. But, just as their midfield and forwards performed particularly well in building up a good lead on the scoreboard during the early stages of the match, the defence stood firm in protecting the lead during the latter stages and making sure of the 2-9 to 1-8 victory. The celebrations which followed in the club were well deserved. 

Other Successes

The U16 hurlers are by no means alone in bringing recent success to the club. The list of honours includes: the two girls’ U15 football teams, one of whom won the Division 1 league title, the other the Division 5 league title; the girls’ U13 footballers who were winners of the Division 1 league and championship shield runners-up; the U18 (male) hurlers as joint winners of the Division 4 league; the girls’ U18 footballers – runners-up in the county championship shield. 

This is not to forget our adult teams. The senior footballers finished joint 4th in the league and crucially retained their intermediate status for next season; our senior hurlers finished mid-table in the league and retained their championship status; while the ladies senior footballers were finalists in the Division 2 Cup. 

Player awards

Each year the club pays special tribute to players across the different age groups who are considered to have served their teams and the club particularly well. A recent ceremony in the club saw the Adult Player of the Year awards go to the following players: Joe Jordan in Hurling, Mairead Connolly in Camogie, David Meenan in Football and Julie Ann Twomey in Ladies Football. Congratulations and well done to each of them.

And a further cause for celebration is the greatly increased number of club players now involved with various Dublin teams and development squads: from senior ladies football down through the age groups, U18 to U13, for both boys and girls, football and hurling.

Coaching standards

A key ingredient to team success is good coaching. In addition to the various coaching sessions and workshops which are arranged by the club’s Games Development Officer (GDO), Johnny McGlynn, and our Games Promotion Officer (GPO), Ciaran Pollock, guest presenters are regularly invited to the club to share their thoughts and experience with coaches, players and parents alike.

None were more welcome than Dublin football selector and former player, Jason Sherlock, and current Dublin footballer, Jonny Cooper. In a session organised by Clanns man and fellow Dublin selector, Declan Darcy, they provided very useful insights on effective coaching and player pathways. Jonny Cooper talked about his journey as a player, from his time as a young lad with ambitions to play for Dublin, through the ups and downs, the good days and the bad days, as he eventually fulfilled his dream with the Dubs. 

AGM Report

The club’s Annual General Meeting heard Chairman, Bernard Barron, express thanks to all staff, members and supporters who assisted the club throughout the year. He particularly singled out Dublin Port, our main sponsor, as well as other sponsors, including Michael Grant Motors and BAM; also Dublin County Board for their financial support towards the club’s Games Development Officer and Games Promotion Officer.

The following positions were elected for the coming year:

• President: Frank White

• Vice President: Robin Booth

• Chairman: Bernard Barron

• Vice Chairman: Jay Byrne

• Secretary: Brian Delany

• Treasurer: Suzanne Murray

•Registrar: Donal Murray

• Juvenile Chairman: Eoghan Heneghan

• Children’s Officer: Christina Deevy

• PRO: Felix O’Regan