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U-16 leagues show growth of the game

The ever increasing popularity of our sport is shown in the spread of clubs in our Connacht U-16s from Carrick on Shannon to Erris to Connemara to Ballinasloe, there a club close to everyone who wants to have a go, and everyone is welcome.

We run two Leagues at U-16s level in Connacht, a Senior section containing 10 teams and a Development section again containing 10 teams; Galwegians run a team in both leagues giving us a spread of 19 club right across the province. The top four in both sections will play off to see who becomes the league champions.

The front runners in the Senior section at the moment in a very competitive league are Galwegians, Creggs, Corinthians and Sligo but this could, and probably will change, by the week in the home and away format.

In the Development League, we have Carrick on Shannon, Erris and NUIG making their debut in this seasons competition, it's a little too early to pick out favourites yet but Ballyhaunis and NUIG look strong. Points in this league are weighted towards teams playing their games, even if it goes to 10 v 10.

Our goal at U-16s is to provide a structure where everyone and every club can be accommodated, without the youth's game, we won't have adults playing or coaching into the future.

Over the last few years the standard of play at this age has improved greatly, that is testament to the commitment to improve player skills, and coaching, led by the Connacht Branch through training camps throughout the province, the commitment of coaches to up-skilling, by attending courses and downloading the training drills provided by the branch online.

Irish Independent