Spotlight on the Under 16 (2006) Ladies Football Team

It seems like no time since this group was trekking down to the Paddock on Saturday mornings as U6’s in the nursery all the way back in 2012. What a decade it has been, from nursery, go-games, juvenile football and now in 2022, our final season before moving to minor football.

We have 48 players, with teams competing in division 1 and division 6, supported by a group of dedicated coaches, led by Mark Kenny (16A), Stuart Mahon (16B) and our year coordinator Vincent Hargaden. We’ve also been very lucky to have a number of the Crokes Senior Ladies players join our coaching group over the years. Michelle Davoren and Rachel Fleming are providing great advice this year, following in the footsteps of the Senior captain Emer Sweeney during the last two seasons.

Like everyone else, we are glad to be back to full training and matches after the last two years. Having had the excitement of the Féile kit fitting in January 2020, restrictions meant missing out on Féile and the All Ireland 7s, but then with the decision to move Féile to U15, we eventually had a Féile Championship in Autumn 2021. And it was more than worth the wait, with our Bs winning the Division 6 Championship Final by a point in a thrilling encounter away against Garristown. The winning score came just before the final whistle when a penalty was calmly chipped over the bar by the team captain.  The As have also put in a strong challenge at championship time in each of the three competitive seasons to date, reaching the final at U13 before losing to Ballyboden, and the semi-finals at U14 (unplayed due to Covid) and U15 (losing narrowly to St. Judes).  We look forward to an exciting U16 season, for which we have ‘high hopes’!

We would like to thank the 2007s, who continue to give us great support, and wish them all the very best in their upcoming Féile on 23rd/24th April.  H’on the Crokes!

We’ve been an active, social group over the years, from hosting blitzes, participating in several Hell and Back challenges, Fun and Run launch, Paddle Boarding in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Lockdown Bake-Off and Treasure Hunt, Coast for Crokes, weekends away to Mullingar and the legendary Passage West U10 tournament, summer day trips for challenge matches north and south, Croke Park on Ladies All-Ireland Final day and post-match meals in McDonalds Stillorgan.  Perhaps one of the earlier highlights, which really helped the players see the whole Crokes Ladies section in action, was following the Crokes Ladies team in their great run to the Leinster Intermediate Championship title back in 2014, where we played several half-time exhibition matches.  Much of this activity was driven by Majella Murphy, who led the group out of nursery all the way through the ’Go-Games’ era, and many of the trips are still talked about by the girls!

 

It was a huge achievement for the group to have three players selected on the Dublin U16 squad this year, who after two wins from their three group matches, now face Meath in the U16 Leinster Championship Final on May 7th. This followed the selection, in 2020, of three different Crokes players for the Dublin U14 squad, who unfortunately did not get to see competitive action in Blue due to Covid. Having six players selected for Dublin squads indicates, we believe, the strength of the group we have. Also on the representative side we have a number of players on Leinster/Ireland U16 hockey squads and the Ireland U16 basketball squad. It’s a multi-talented group!

Another feature of the U16 group is that they are starting to contribute back to the club in areas such as Transition Year coaching, nursery coaching, starting out their refereeing careers with Grab Your Whistle and supporting the Friday afternoon Inclusive Training sessions. The group has been very supportive of the club’s inclusion initiative and are delighted to have Johanna on our team and look forward to seeing her at our training sessions, as well as helping out in some of her other activities. The coaching group and parents consider this to be a hugely important aspect of the girl’s development and are very proud of the fine young people involved in our group - club contributors, fierce competitors and fast friends!

With strong starts by both U16A and U16B teams in their respective leagues, we are looking forward to the rest of the 2022 season and beyond to minor and adult football.