Hail the ‘New Normal’ at Clann Gael Fontenoy

The Junior hurlers get stuck into their first training session on return to activity

Felix O’Regan

The ‘new normal’ has been welcomed with open arms by all at the club. The ’normal’ reflects the return to play now being enjoyed by all age groups – albeit in pods of 15 with health and safety very much to the fore. The ‘new’ reflects the fresh enhanced look given to the club’s facilities in preparation for this.

Return to play
The honour of being the very first team back training on April 26th fell to our U14 boys under the watchful eye of Jason McDonnell. Later that day, and in the days that followed, all the other underage teams, boys and girls, made a welcome return. This generated a great buzz and excitement around the club the likes of which had been sorely missed – with even parents turning out in unduly large numbers to be part of the atmosphere.
When it came time for the return of the adult players for their first training sessions since the easing of restrictions, upwards of 30 Junior hurlers could be counted – a turnout which made a happy man of Team Manager, Colly Reynolds. This year sees Bernard Barron and Pat Duffy come on board as selectors along with Jimmy Barnes who continues in that role; while former player, Sean Curzon, is a welcome addition on the coaching side.
“We will have a strong squad of players again this year which is great: a good combination of guys who’ve already played at this level, together with some good talent coming through from the minor ranks and a number of players new to the club,” says Colly. “We’re aiming to be in the best possible shape for when the league campaign gets underway when we’ll be facing Fingallians, Na Fianna, St Brigids, St Vincents and Good Counsel Liffey Gaels.”
Our Intermediate footballers are also looking forward to the start of their league campaign in a few weeks’ time, during which they’ll be playing Ballyboden St Endas, Good Counsel Liffey Gaels, St Finians (Newcastle), St Judes, St Marys, St Patricks (Palmerstown) and St Peregrines.
“It’s great to be back training,” says Mick Fitzgerald, Team Manager. “Our lads had been playing some great football and enjoying much success before the pandemic. We’ll be aiming to pick up where we left off.”
For Michael Egan, manager of the Ladies camogie team, a key focus is to enlarge the squad. To this end a special flyer was developed and posted on social media inviting more players to become involved with the club. The response has been very good, which Michael believes augurs well for the future.

Sprucing up the club
In preparation for the return to play a wide range of work was undertaken around the club – with a number of the initiatives representing further steps in the ‘greening’ of the club:
Juvenile Coaches cleared the club and surrounding areas of Sean Moore Park of litter and general debris
Adult players replanted shrubs to an area all along the side of the club facing Sean Moore Road and planted new shrubs at the front facing onto the pitches
Five car parking spaces were reassigned for bicycles and, with the assistance of Dublin City Council, space was provided for up to 60 bicycles
The clubhouse was repainted
The club coffee shop arranged for half-price coffee to be given to those who brought their own cups
A new player/member registration system was put in place(Foireann)

All in all, the ‘new normal’ has worked very well; and the hope is things can continue that way.