Youth To Bloom In Golden Future
ONCE the foundation is right, you give yourself every chance. Seamus Massey knows that better than most.
Seamus is the Dublin Camogie PRO. He penned an article for the SE Systems Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland Sevens programme.
Its sentiments race off the page, and puts oil in the timber of the fair city.
"I can remember in years past travelling to Kilkenny and Wexford with young Dublin teams and hoping that we wouldn't suffer too great a defeat," stated Seamus.
"But, thankfully, that has all changed. In recent years, Dublin's under-age teams have been competing successfully.
"Success in Feile and at All-Ireland Under-16 level confirm this. Our minors have also been matching the best.
"Today, our young sides compete with the likes of Kilkenny, Wexford and Cork with confidence.
"In the past, we had the rare, occasional win, but now we expect to compete successfully at this high grade."
And the master plan is for all that talent to eventually emerge onto the county's flagship side, the senior Dublin team.
"The improvement is down to the good work being done at club and county board level. We have leagues, championships, summer competitions, coaching, development squads, elite squads and academies."
And then Seamus produces his jackpot point, a golden nugget.
"I firmly believe that the emphasis at under-age level must always be on skill and enjoyment.
"Young players must practice and hone their skills on a daily basis. They must enjoy playing the game.
"They must receive positive support and encouragement from the adults who are privileged to work with them.
"We need our young players to remain in the game and to continue playing camogie as part of their active adult lives."
The dream could well lead to wearing the blue jersey of the most successful county the sport has known.
Dublin hold the record of 26 All-Ireland titles. Cork are now just one behind.
"Many of our young players will aspire to wearing the Dublin jersey at adult level, but only a small number will achieve this goal.
"The majority will continue to play at club level. We must do everything in our power to have happy, skilful young players ready to move to the next stage of their development into the adult ranks.
"Our young players are our future."
Such wisdom can only pave the way to a blue horizon.
Seamus's article should be cast in bronze and hung up in every clubhouse in the country.