The Beginnings 2010 - 2012
Youghal Ladies Football Club was established in January 2011 after running a very successful Gaelic4Girls program the previous September. Initially this program was set up to cater for a core group of 20 8 years who had spent 2 years training with the boys and then found themselves with no football avenue to pursue. Little did we know that 65 other girls within the town had aspirations to take up the sport as well!!
What started off as a mid life crisis for one woman, ended up as a football club 12 months later! In July 2010, on a sunny Saturday morning Cormac Galvin said Catriona Hill “thinking of starting a girls football team, what do you think?” to which the reply was “that’s funny because I was thinking of starting Gaelic 4 Mothers” and so an idea was born. “Let’s go the full monty” they decided and start a full club and so the Youghal Ladies Football club was established.
In September 2010, Cormac started the Gaelic for girls programme. Over 70 girls turned up each Saturday for a fun filled training session. The enthusiasm of the girls spread like wild fire and number grew and the girls kept coming back week after week. Many parents helped out with training and with back round jobs, helping this to run very successfully. This went on for over 8 weeks and ended up with two buses and over 70 children playing in a Gaelic for Girls blitz in Clonmel on 20th of November 2010 ,where great fun was to be had and all came home happy and tired.
Meanwhile Catriona made it known to every girl in Youghal she knew that a new club was being set up. She drafted in some players and mentors on social nights out where it seemed like a good idea at the time and a “no” wasn’t taken for an answer! Soon the news spread and the idea of a Ladies Football Club was now becoming real. With the help of Beanie, Ger and Brian training began in January 2011. By the end of January there were over 100 registered members in the club. In a town with very little Ladies Football history the club had already blossomed to a degree we now have U8,U10,U12, U14,u16, minor and also a Junior team.
With mentors and officers identified it was full steam ahead and in our inaugural year we fielded U8, U10, U12, U14 and Junior teams. 2011 proved to be an exceptional year with our U12s winning the East Cork double and our U10 and U14 narrowly losing their respective league finals. Hosting and participation in the National Féile was an extremely proud achievement for our Club and town in July of that year where our U14s had the opportunity to play against county champions and also where many friendships were established through football and the social events surrounding the Féile. Within the same week Youghal Ladies were flying the Club colours again when we had the honour of bringing 2 teams to the Gaelic4Girls National Blitz Day held on the hallowed turf of Croke Park where the girls not only had the opportunity to play in one of the world’s finest stadia but also meet the Ladies Football All-Stars. In the background while the kids were having all the fun some astute mothers not to be left out decided to setup a Gaelic4Mothers team who travelled the country representing the Club at Munster and National League Finals.
Starting a club from scratch has not been easy. When your bank balance reads “zero” and you need everything from footballs to bibs. Our first fundraiser was a bag packing day in our local Supervalu which raised us enough money to buy one full set of jerseys. Youghal GAA club where very supportive of us allowing us to use their flood lit facility, their indoor hall and their pitch for training and matches. They also supplied us with a full set of jerseys for which we are very grateful. Helping us to get off the ground the County Board could not have been more helpful with Ger Walsh on the end of the phone on a daily basis. He also helped us with equipment and courses. We also receive two full First Aid kits from Alison in Youghal Pharmacy which was a great help.