kickhams kings will mould more queens
Ballymun hopeful of producing future Dublin captains like Denise
MEMORIES sweet memories. The 'Mun were on the march.
Dublin senior football champions for the first time in over a quarter of a century.
The beauty and breath of their football captivated the capital.
A deep moat in front of their own hall door, and then the ability to break for the border with pace.
Curraner's Colts were the talk of the parish ….. and the country.
It led to Leinster glory, and they almost secured All-Ireland gold.
It didn't just happen by turning on the light in Páirc Ciceam one day.It was a case of seeing the light, as the Balymun PRO, Cathal Roche, explains.
"Reaching the dizzy heights of the All-Ireland final in Croke Park in 2013 was the culmination of over a decade and a half of monumental effort to resurrect the juvenile section of the club.
"We had lost players to other clubs and to other sports. We were in free-fall.
"But the rot was stopped by a few dedicated club men, including a certain man, Declan Small.
"The gigantic efforts were well rewarded throughout the age-groups, including a magnificent back-to-back U21 Dublin Football Championship double and All-Ireland Féile glory. So it was well sign-posted that success at adult level was just around the corner."
Now another corner has been turned, as Cathal further outlines.
"Declan is now the chairperson of the club and he is seeing the rejuvenation of Ladies Football.
"He is being assisted by some of the driving forces in the ladies section. People that oversaw the foundation of Gaelic4Mothers&Others, and who were instrumental in setting up juvenile teams.
"We are not expecting instant results, but progress has been nice and steady. And we have unearthed some stars.
"If the progress continues, it won't be long before Ballymun Kickhams again give Dublin Ladies Football a gem like Denise Masterson. And a few more besides!"
All at Kickhams were chuffed to hear that the club had been selected by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association for the Gaelic4Girls programme in the local schools.
This is the initiative for girls between the ages of eight and 12 that are not playing club football.
"It is an exceptional idea," judges Cathal.
"It runs for 12 weeks and it teaches the children athletic and social skills in a safe and nurturing environment.
"It will also attract new members into the club. This will help to strengthen Ballymun Kickhams in the community and provide a more rounded family involvement.
"It will also be of much benefit to Dublin Ladies football because the quality of players that have come through the red and green are second to none."
The former Dublin captain stands as tall as any of them. Her most famous day came in September 2010 when she led the Dubs up the steps of the Hogan Stand.
Dublin - All-Ireland champions for the first time. And Denise was very much central to the triumph.
"We are looking forward to the Gaelic4Girls Programme with much enthusiasm," relates Cathal.
"We feel that the LGFA decision to endorse Ballymun is a shrewd one.
"Here's to Ballymun providing the Jackies with many more players and another Ballymun captain to bring the Brendan Martin Cup back to Molly again."