Club officers and delegates from the Inishowen clubs were present and were joined by school representatives, managers, coaches and executive members of CLG Bord Inis Eoghain to review the year just ended
Sean Clerkin manager of the 2010 Rannafast squad and Sean O Hare manager of the 2010 Corn Na nOg squad gave reports the performance of their respective teams and paid glowing tributes to their fellow selectors for their dedication and commitment to the players over many weeks.
Both teams won two of their four group games, with the Rannafast game under lights against Omagh CBS being one of the highlights of the season while the Corn Na nOg team lost out in a play off game against St Pats Armagh in their bid to reach the knock out stages.
Thanks were extended to the schools for their great co-operation at all times, to the clubs for the use of their facilities for training and a number of games, and also to the players who were at all times a credit to their schools and families.
A massive amount of work was done behind the scenes and thanks were also extended to everyone associated with the initiative, which the managers felt was a huge step forward in the development of schools football in Inishowen.
A detailed financial report was available to all those present, outlining the year’s income and expenditure for entry fees, players insurance, catering, match expenses, training equipment, playing gear and travel expenses.
Thanks were extended to Supervalu Carndonagh and Healthwise Pharmacies Buncrana and Moville for their generous sponsorship deals which were greatly appreciated and also the clubs and schools who had contributed financially.
Tributes were also paid to the late Gerry O Neill, treasurer of CLG Bord Inis Eoghain who had been involved in setting up Colaisti Inis Eoghain and had been responsible for administration work on a day to day basis, he will be greatly missed by all concerned.
Initially Colaisti Inis Eoghain were accepted into Ulster College’s Competitions on a one year probation, and there is a fervent belief among those involved that participation should continue into the 2011-2012 season upon receipt of relevant approvals.
It is hoped that sufficient funding can be sourced to enable the initiative to continue and that schools’ costs could be kept to a minimum.
It was also noted that opportunities may become available to students representing Colaisti Inis Eoghain in the future to benefit from bursaries and perhaps offers of scholarships to third level colleges.
The primary schools coaching scheme that has been ongoing for the past six years in Inishowen is a great success, and this is down to a hard working sub committee and the two exceptional full time coaches currently employed.
The combined second level schools team initiative introduced last year, is seen as the next stage in the process of developing quality players in Inishowen, who will progress to represent their county at U16 level, hopefully some will also play for the County Vocational Schools team and then for Donegal at U18 and U21 level before reaching senior standard.
The groundbreaking initiative was favourably received throughout Donegal and Ulster, and commended by all opposing schools in the Rannafast and Corn Na nOg competitions.
In fact several other areas of the county are now seriously considering following in the footsteps of Colaisti Inis Eoghain, and a similar initiative exists in the Limavady District Council area where an amalgamated schools team participates in the Ulster Vocational Schools competitions.