U12 Girls – 2015 Round Up.
In April 2014, when these girls first started to play football as a team, we could never have guessed the success they would have accomplished. On a par with the other teams in division 2 throughout the 2014 season, the girls played alongside Granemore, Pearse Ogs, Silverbridge, Cullyhanna, Crossmaglen, Killeavy and Carrickcruppen. They won some, they drew some and lost some but already displayed a very promising outlook – the future was certainly bright.
At the beginning of 2015 the girls were entered into Division 2 once again but, thanks to Barry and his unwavering belief in their worth, they were finally entered into Division 1, and what a decision it turned out to be! The girls scored, defended, ran, sweated, trained, trained and trained their way through the season, defeating every opponent, ensuring their place at the top of the league and, of course, possession of the Division 1 u12 Championship Cup. Meeting Armagh Harps, Carrickcruppen, Clan na nGael, Clann Eireann and Granemore along the way, Derrynoose u12 ladies became a force to be reckoned with… the opposition that no other team wanted to play against!
Returning to training in February of this year, the girls were soon fighting fit for the first of their matches and began an extremely successful season, blasting all opposition out of the water. It can be said though, and it is one of the most admirable traits about this formidable bunch, that they are entirely humble. These girls know their ability but never let it get ahead of them; they never run on to a field without fearing the challenge.
The deciding league game was played in Derrynoose. It saw the girls defeat a shell-shocked Granemore team, applauded by family and friends as well as the Chairman of the Ladies County Board, Owen Reel, who graciously presented our captain fantastic, Anita McKearney, with the league shield – a proud, momentous game.
The Championship final, played in the Grange, and supported by many, many spectators proved to be one of our best, if not the best day out for these amazing athletes. In the first ten minutes, the Clan na nGael girls put up a worthy fight against Derrynoose but the Derrynoose storm proved too much for Clans to weather and the championship was ours with a very impressive 10 point triumph. Diarmaid Marsden, Clan na nGael coach, couldn’t help but marvel at the skill of the Derrynoose girls, commenting on the likelihood of many of our girls playing at senior county level.
Following the success of the league at the championship season, we couldn’t have imagined further victory yet these girls never fail to impress on every level. Defeating all-comers at the Crossmaglen tournament, the girls came home with yet more medals and were commended in Crossmaglen by an awestruck audience – the girls knew where to be, when to get there and where to get to next. Another outstanding performance displaying unprecedented skill levels at such young ages.
Emyvale, however, for many of the girls, and for the coaches alike, was the pinnacle of a truly exceptional season. That particular Sunday saw the girls come up against their best challenge yet; for the first time this entire season Derrynoose U12 Ladies footballers were under pressure… But in true form they dug even deeper, they scored even higher, they fought their way to the goals and defended tooth and nail to make sure they arrived back to Derrynoose with more silverware for the cabinet and their own miniature cups to treasure.
We, as coaches, have looked on in awe as these girls have improved week on week, match on match. No challenge is too testing… the girls excel on every level! Derrynoose U12 Ladies fully deserve the monumental success they have achieved and are worthy league, county champions and Ulster tournament winners. We are delighted and privileged to have been part of the 2015 adventure. Long may it last!