Camogie: Junior just the tonic for Isles
THE Isles are calling. The bell on the Farnham Drive halldoor awaits pressing.
Three adult teams will wear the colours of 'The Parish' this season -- adult, intermediate and the newly formed junior side.
The birth of the juniors is causing a stir. A father-son, mother-daughter combination will manage them. Des and Ciarán Butler, plus Catherine and Lorraine Connaghan.
They have been busy recruiting. The bones of the team have been assembled already. But they need more players.
"Ideally, we'd need another six players or so," explains Des, who is excited with the initiative.
"I'm also with the U16s. I didn't want to see a situation come the end of the season where there was nowhere for our U16s to go," says Des.
"Several of them could progress onto the inter or senior squads, but what about the rest?
That would leave you telling 16-year-olds that there is no team for them.
"You would be showing them the gate, and after seven years playing camogie for the club, that just wouldn't be right.
"Now, with the junior team forming, at least there's an option for them to pursue their camogie careers. The last thing you want to see is people being lost to the game.
"At U-16 level, many girls still have a lot of growing up to do, so making the jump from underage level to inter or senior can be physically very demanding.
"The junior standard would offer a more gentle introduction to adult camogie. And it would give young players the chance to adjust."
Already, some former Isles have answered the call. "Yes, we are thrilled about that," confirms Des.
"These are players who played with us years ago and went off to get married and have children, etc.
"They may feel they are not yet able for the inter or senior grade, and they wouldn't be able to give the commitment required at that level.
"The junior division will give them the opportunity of making a comeback and seeing are they still in love with camogie.
"If players are happy enough to play junior, fine. That's great, but I'd be delighted that having sampled the junior grade, they may feel they'd like to move up through the ranks."
The junior panel would also be the perfect place for women who never played the sport before but always fancied giving it a go.
Des is also more than pleased to see the introduction of the new U18 league. "It's brilliant.
"It will give players another avenue when they come out of U16."
It's all about keeping players in the camogie family and nowhere is the sense of family as strong as it is in Finglas.
The juniors train on Wednesdays (7.pm) and Saturdays (12.45pm).
The green and black carpet is out already.
Ring Des on 086-0609546.