AIG AND THE HERAlD INSURE A special DAY FOR grassroots
Players and clubs across all codes and levels receive awards
The inaugural AIG/The Herald Player and Team of the Month awards lunch took place in the Gibson Hotel last Friday afternoon with players and management rewarded for their efforts over the 2014 club season.
It proved a rewarding and enjoyable afternoon for all parties concerned with fourteen separate clubs recognised over the eighteen awards that were presented across all codes and grades.
"AIG Insurance is delighted to be supporting The Player and Club of the Month awards in line with The Herald," said AIG's marketing and sponsorship manager John Gillick.
"While we are obviously proud sponsors and passionate supporters of all the Dublin GAA inter county teams, we also want to look to support players and the clubs who are the important grassroots and the future.
"Apart from running these awards over 2015 and beyond with our valued partners The Herald, we are rolling out a club safety initiative to twenty GAA clubs whereby we are helping supply safety equipment and playing gear to clubs on top of some other ad hoc projects to help support grassroots GAA in Dublin," he added.
One of the teams recognised was the St Brigid's minor hurling team who claimed the 'B' championship title against Thomas Davis in November under the stewardship of Johnny McGuirk (pictured inset above).
It proved McGuirk's final match in charge of the club's hurling team after a successful period that included National Féile success and he was delighted to leave the club on a high.
"I've had them lads since Under 10 and they are a strong bunch of lads. We've worked very hard at keeping the lads together and creating a bond within the club," said McGuirk.
"Our minor team was back-boned by our Under 16 team because numbers were quite light at the minor age.
"They overcame the disappointment of losing the U16 'A' championship final and regrouped really well, beating Faughs in the minor championship the next morning.
"That type of spirit was what this team was all about, showing real resolve and leadership.
"Walking away now, I'm happy out that there are good men coming in to look after the lads and they can look forward to competing in the Minor 'A' Championship this year," said McGuirk, who of course will have the Dublin minor team to focus his attention on for the coming year.
Another team who have been able to lay strong foundations for the impending year are the senior footballers of Fingal Ravens.
The Rolestown club produced an impeccable campaign in 2014, securing their promotion from Division 2 of the Dublin Adult Football League by late summer and they were rewarded for this feat on the way by claiming the Team of the Month award for June.
Central to their success was the impressive start that they made to their league campaign and if Ravens are to enjoy a similarly fruitful year in 2015, a bright start is essential, according to team captain Alan Casey.
"Last year we were lucky enough to get off to a very good start and we were able to build up a bit of momentum," said Casey.
"The aim at the start of the year was to get promoted and thankfully we managed to achieve that.
"We are fully aware that it won't be as easy this year but hopefully we can pick up a few early wins and generate some momentum that way.
"It's great to be back up there with the best club teams in the county and although we know how competitive and challenging it's going to be, we're really looking forward to what's in front of us.
"I suppose the home games will be crucial for us and we need to make sure that we make Rolestown as tough a place as possible for our opponents and we'll look to make sure that we pick up a few home wins along the way," added Casey.
The last word belonged to Gillick, who hopes to build on a successful opening year and develop the event from strong foundations.
"After a successful first year of our sponsorship, we are looking forward to building on our good relationships with Dublin GAA and The Herald in 2015 and we look forward to seeing to new Player and Teams of the month in 2015," concluded the evergreen Ballinteer St John's man, who embarks on an incredible 17th season of senior football.
AIG/THE HERALD AWARD WINNERS
Team of the Month: St Vincent's Senior FootballersPlayer of the Month: Aodhán Clabby (Ballinteer)
TOTM: Lucan Sarsfields U14 Camogie
POTM: Paul Winters (St Brigid's)
TOTM: Kilmacud Crokes U14 Hurlers
POTM: Paul Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER)
TOTM: Fingal Ravens Senior Footballers
POTM: Robert Hardy (St Jude's)
totm: Ballymun Kickhams Inter Footballers
POTM: Ciarán Reddin (St Maur's)
totm: Ballyboden St Enda's Junior Hurlers
POTM: Eamonn Dillon (Naomh Fionnbarra)
TOTM: Kilmacud Crokes Senior Hurlers
POTM: Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent's)
TOTM: Castleknock Intermediate Footballers
POTM: Hugh Gill (St Vincent's)
TOTM: St Brigid's minor hurlers
POTM: Alistair Fitzgerald(Na Fianna)