Club championships starting this weekend
Having won the Intermediate Championship for the second time in 2021, St Farnan’s are embarking on their second stint in the Senior Championship and their first in the top tier since 2012. The Fureys Coaches League Division 1 campaign finished with a draw against reigning championship winners Tourlestrane which showed that the west Sligo side can compete strongly at this level.
Having been drawn in the same group as Coolaney/Mullinabreena, Drumcliffe/Rosses Point, Tourlestrane and 2022 League winners Coolera/Strandhill, the senior team are looking forward to a successful campaign but are under no illusions as to the challenge they face.
After winning the West Senior league and the opening two games in the league, the team went through a dip in performance which had many contributory factors. Player availability due to county hurling and football commitments, injuries and players travelling after two years of covid-related restrictions meant playing resources were stretched at times. However the resilience of the team and club shone through with a strong finish to the league campaign which augurs well for the upcoming championship.
While the senior team has been making strides, several players have represented Sligo and underage level at both minor and U20 level in recent years. This exposure to county representation has helped the club to retain and nurture the underage talent in the area. St Farnan’s is a combined team from Templeboy and Dromore West - it is predominantly a rural area which is facing challenges common to all rural clubs – emigration from the area to urban centres (both within and outside Ireland) in search of work and constant fundraising to maintain facilities, coaching and equipment at the highest level possible.
The stark nature of the challenge faced by rural clubs is illustrated in St Farnan’s requirement to merge with neighbours Easkey at underage levels in order to field teams in competitions from U15 to U19. This merger allows young footballers to play football at an appropriately competitive level but it does impact players’ club identity. St Farnans have worked hard in recent years to build club identity by holding coaching mornings where senior players coach juvenile players and holding Easter and Halloween football camps to encourage all available children (boys and girls) to engage and play with the club. The club is hoping to participate in the upcoming Club Development Officer programme being initiated by the Connacht Council – this will forge strong links with local schools and hopefully ensure that all children have an affinity with and want to play for St Farnans.
As with all small clubs, the club executive committee has to constantly balance provision of the best environment for adult and juvenile players while also ensuring prudent financial management processes are in place. Fundraising is a constant challenge and consumes much time and energy. As with all clubs, fundraising has to compete with all other voluntary and charity organisations in the area. The club has a loyal group of supporters who contribute handsomely to the club but the annual running costs have increased dramatically in recent years.
The current executive committee of eleven includes seven current adult players. This commitment by the current players is testament to their buy-in to the club but also demonstrates the limited pool of resources available to run the club. Widening this pool of resources is something the executive committee are looking to achieve in 2023.
So it’s onwards and upwards for St Farnans and the club is looking forward with anticipation to a strong senior championship campaign and the club is hoping all supporters will come out in large numbers to cheer the team on.
St Farnans are delighted to announce their new senior championship jerseys for 2022 in association with Pieta, have been kindly sponsored by Ocean Sands Hotel & Spa, Enniscrone and Sean Weir Building and Carpentry Contractor.
The Ocean Sands is an award-winning 4-star hotel nestled on miles of pristine beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo.
Sean Weir Building and Carpentry Contractor is a local, family-owned company located in scenic Aughris in Templeboy. Sean has been a strong supporter of St Farnans GAA for a considerable period.
Pieta provides a 24hr Crisis Helpline (1800 247 247) available to support those in crisis, and those concerned about a loved one who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm. The annual Darkness into Light walk in Dromore West has helped to raise the profile of Pieta and St Farnans are delighted to display the Pieta logo on their new senior jerseys.