SUNRISE ..... SUNSET

No song better encapsulates the conflicting emotions that accompanies the growing to adulthood of your child

than "Sunrise, Sunset" from"Fiddler On The Roof."

The first verse goes:-
"Is this the little girl I carried, is this the little boy at play, I don't remember growing older, when did they?" When did she get to be a beauty? When did he grow to be so tall? Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?"

You want them to see them grow up and progress in life but at the same you would wish certain times would last forever. This was one of those times which I wrote about in 2004.

                                                                             “FAREWELL TO ALL THAT”

A bit like Wendy Darling, in the magical Peter Pan story, the moment
arrived when our under-eight footballers – soon to be under-nines had
to leave the nursery.

Big Daddy, John Shovlin decreed “Be gone!” and
so our fledgling footballers, The Eagles, The Hawks and The Falcons,
so called to avoid obvious grading of them, took flight to Tuesday
night training under floodlights and
games against other clubs on Saturdays.

Big games for Big Boys!

They’ve had a wonderful time on Saturday mornings learning the
essential Gaelic football skills, and of course hurling as well in
most cases, and playing games every Saturday, which to them were like
All Ireland Finals.

Each one of them has made progress in his own unique way. One could not but be impressed with the overall standard. Let us hope that they keep playing the games well into adulthood.
A wise man once said that if you love something enough you will become good at it.
Certainly, all these kids are very enthusiastic.
Parents can facilitate improvement by encouraging the kids to practice.

Famously the great Mick O’ Connell of Kerry honed his
kicking and catching skills against the gable wall of his parents'
house in Valentia Island – Valentia, County Kerry, that is. Christy
Ring and D.J. Carey also “clocked up” the hours hitting sliothars
against walls.

Of course it all has to be as much fun as possible.
It has been marvellous, over the past two years, to observe the
enjoyment the kids have had and the obvious improvements made.
Sometimes the coaches lose the run of themselves and join in the fun
and games, if only in goal.

Perhaps we can all be forgiven for being
nostalgic for own childhoods?

After all there is no substitute for

“Okay Tinkerbell, sprinkle the pixie dust, lets set sail !"
Thankfully, our little darlings were given one last outing in the
nursery on the Saturday before Christmas.

Santa Claus arrived in style aboard a helicopter.

Thanks to our great bunch of footballers and their parents and our mentors.

The under-nine leagues beckon in January.

Many of those fledgelings have "kept the faith." Three are now members of our senior football team panel: Cillian O' Shea, Andrew McGowan and Cian O' Connor.

This year, Cillian O' Shea jointly captained the Dublin under-twenty one team which won the last ever All-Ireland at that grade. In 2005, he was part of a team which won the Mini-All Ireland under-nine competition a big-little win which brought great to all concerned.

Others like Francis O' Reilly, Ruairí Geraghty and Pete Moloney also continue to play within the club, be it hurling or football and many others keep up their interest in the GAA. All will carry the experience of those games and childhood camarderie wherever they go in life. Those were the days.

Matt Cahill