Clever Cabinteely teaching established clubs some lessons
When Cabinteely were admitted to the League of Ireland, the widespread reaction was negative.
The reasons were straightforward enough: it was another Dublin club with limited scope to attract support, and the feeling is that expansion of the league should involve counties which don't have a senior side.
However, it's fair to say that the new club have turned out to be a bit of a surprise package, with some innovative thinking and a clever use of social media a big feature of their embryonic phase.
Last week, Cabinteely announced a partnership with the Dublin School of Grinds in a deal which will offer free grinds to the Leaving Cert students in their U-19 squad.
"As part of our player pathway, we at Cabinteely believe that education is a crucial part in the development of young players," read a statement from the club.
Vice-chairman Brian McGovern told the 42.ie that Cabinteely are determined to be "different from other League of Ireland clubs", adding that adapting a model which is popular in England was the natural step towards looking out for the overall development of the youngsters in their ranks.
"We may be an amateur club but we want to do everything professionally," he continued. "We need to approach the league and domestic football from a different angle, as the league doesn't have the reputation it should. It's about enhancing the image and improving the environment for players."
Cabinteely's plan is hardly revolutionary, yet it's offering more to teenagers making a big commitment than a lot of other clubs do. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones - and with this initiative, the newcomers have demonstrated that their heads are screwed on.