London GAA’s 1916 centenary was underpinned by a celebration of the county’s future Gaels, with multiple events showcasing the talent and commitment of the youth teams.
In a weekend where we remembered a century ago, the amount of participation from the underage population shows that the game will be played here for decades to come.
One of the most enthralling spectacles over the course of the weekend was the fiercely fought tie between the London and Warwickshire development sides.
London’s U18 squad have been training with an increased intensity over the past few months, under the watch of the senior football management. Lloyd Colfer, the county’s Community Development Administrator, announced the shortlist early on this year to be trained by Ciaran Deely and Paddy Curtin.
The match between London and Warwickshire showed that the county will reap the rewards of investing so much in the younger players in the future with the quality of the game.
Playing directly before the senior footballers, the passing and movement from both sides was admirable and with a bit more fine tuning and shooting practice the players will no doubt become an asset to their senior teams in years to come.
Warwickshire ended up winning the close contest, before both sets of players contributed to the commemorations on the pitch afterwards.
The previous day, London welcomed Connacht GAA Council’s Damien Coleman to help train 30 young hurlers for the third year in a row. About 30 children attended the Go Games Centre at Ruislip, which is aimed to attract young Gaels to the sport, which is practiced less frequently in the county than football.
Lloyd Colfer said it was great to have Coleman over from Ireland as he is a coach of such high calibre and experience.
The previous weekend London GAA were hosts to a 1916 schools Gaelic Football tournament at Sudbury Court which was organised and run by Lloyd Colfer. Thirty four teams participated from across London, while teams travelled over from different parts of Cork for the tournament too.
For more pics from the recent London GAA events, pick up this week’s paper
Brendie O’Brien and Proinnsias Redican were involved in the organising of the event, and it was a great curtain raiser to the much-anticipated ABCs (All Britain Championships) tournament.
The ABCs have been highly commended by Croke Park, and is frequently referred to by GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl in speeches as one of the great commitments the GAA have over here of promoting the game.
London, in 2015, alone had almost 1,500 youths registered to a team. Schools from across the country travel to Tir Chonaill Gaels’ ground in Greenford for the event over a weekend, and the amount of attendees is testament to the hard work that clubs and officers are putting in to ensure the longevity of the game here.+5
The senior football match also gave the younger children a chance to play on the Ruislip pitch, with a mini exhibition played at half-time, with all participants presented with a souvenir medal by London chairman John Lacey afterwards.