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Colga win GFA Club of the Year 2017

A great night for the entire club on the 20th of October as we won club of the year. The speech from our Chairman is below. Well done to everyone over the last 21 years.

Cups won by Colga FC in 2016/17 season:
2 X U/12 girls

1 X U/16 girls

2 X U/18 boys

1 X U/15 boys.

 

PJ Kinane (Chair Colga FC) - Speech

Good evening everybody, it is a great privilege for me as Chair of Colga FC on behalf of the club to accept this award.
I am here representing a large body of committed club members some of whom have joined me here tonight at this event.

 

Firstly I wish to thank the GFA for organising this awards night & the selection committee that awarded Colga FC  “GFA club of the year for 2017”

 

Colga FC was formed in 1996. We are in our 22nd season of football. When the club was formed it embraced adult and under age football from the beginning.  As we have seen earlier;  2017 was truly a year of celebration for Colga. Success for our U/12 & U/16 Girls our U/12, 15 & 18 Boys, the results are visible tonight around the room.
When I was writing, this morning, a few stats came to mind and I think sometimes we all as club members fail to appreciate how much is achieved by all our clubs.

 

Colga hosts almost 20 teams between boys and girls at GFA level each year, that means that we host over 200 matches, hold up to 1200 training sessions provide up to 2500 hours of physical activity to the youth of our community, because that is what we are: a club of the community and for the community. But it is similar for all clubs in the GFA, we all provide weekly a safe and sporting environment for thousands of Boys & Girls and we as clubs should be supported to a greater extent by both local and national governments.

To host so much activity requires facilities and it was fantastic for me over the last few years to see our new grounds, clubhouse and astro-turf open.

The club moved to its current grounds in 2009. You will all remember that this was farmland and a lot of work had to be done to get it fit for playing football. Progressive development meant that we have 2 full size playing pitches and a floodlit training area. Another pitch has been developed and this is also full size, but is normally marked out for under age teams up to U/12 level. This allows for 2 matches to take place at the same time.

The club acquired dressing rooms were formally opened In December 2015. At that time, due to the size of the club, training was still taking place in 2 locations. Our grounds in Kilcornan and Oranmore Astrturf for the cadets.
The recently completed Astro-turf at the club grounds has now allowed our cadets to train in our home ground, these grounds have now become the focal point of the club.

The club has had numerous sporting successes over the years: one possible high point and something that the club is still very proud of was the success 2009/10 Girls team winning the FAI Umbro Cup and getting GalwayBayFM Team of the year.

Many of these girls went on to play at adult level for the club and picked up many more trophies. Some of these girls went to play for Galway WFC at national league level. Alanah Moran who is at the table played with the Galway WFC. Alanah Moran is now the coach/manager with our U 14 girls team and was successful with U/12 girls team last year, winning 2 trophies.

In addition Lisa Casserley who was capped for Ireland at U/15 and U/17 level is another, another former player is Keara Cormican and I want to wish her well in her recovery from injury sustained in the recent cup final while playing for Galway WFC.

Our under age set up is really starting to grow again and our focus on coaching has paid dividends with the history of hugely successful girls teams at the end of the noughties and early years of this decade, culminating in the FAI Umbro Cup U/16 win in 2010.
Ladies/Girls participation is important to us in Colga even if sometimes we fail to reach our own standards.


Coaching:
Coaching is an area that Colga has placed a lot of focus for the last few years currently in the club we have a large number of qualified coaches with other studying for higher certification. All coaches are FAI certificated and the club has a designated Child Safety Officer. The club has formed a Football & Coaching committee and has appointed a head of coaching, Mr Ollie Mullins, also with us tonight, this has proved to be hugely successful and a great help for all coaches.

The focus for all of our players is to give them the best possible coaching that they can get, especially at a young age. We are very concious that Colga could be the first experience of football for a lot of kids and it needs to be both fun, inclusive and appropriate.

This means getting the right coaching in place for all age groups. We continue work on developing players and coaches as much as we can. This allows us to create the proper FAI approved development structure for players U12 up.

 For our cadet players, our focus is on creating an environment where players of all abilities are coached and play together.
This helps to create an environment where teamwork and cooperation are the fundamental principles that each player learns and allows kids to grow and improve together over time. We always attempt to enter teams of overall equal ability into the cadet tournaments.

 


 

Finally I would like to say that the club started with 1 pitch and no dressing rooms, we moved grounds on a number of occasions and actually had to play all matches away from home for 1 season.

I understand that the club was once described as “the big soccer club that nobody could find”. Hopefully that statement is now put to bed and just to say that all clubs are welcome in Colga anytime and hopefully won’t have trouble finding us now.

Thanks again for this fantastic award and I hope that everybody has a great night.  

pjk