Since being crowned Club of the Year 2019 on Friday night at the FAI Delegates Dinner in the Knightsbridge Hotel, Trim as part of the Festival of Football; Colemanstown United has been enjoying all the kudos that comes with this prestigious title. It is a phenomenal achievement for the little hamlet of Colemanstown and has elevated us to the national stage. The club has now borne the fruits of the hard work put in by our founding members and their vision to provide much needed facilities to enhance and develop our club to cater for growing membership. That work has now been succeeded by a committee with endless enthusiasm, drive, ambition all of whom work tirelessly to make significant strides to further expand and develop our facilities and grow the club into what is it today. …. ‘The Club of the Year 2019’….. It’s just a pleasure to write it!
At this point we must heartily thank Frank & Bernie Burke. As we know there may not be a Colemanstown United today if it wasn’t for their generosity all those years ago. On viewing our drone footage of the area and its surrounds, even the judges commented – ‘really ye can’t afford to fall out with The Burke Family’. Even they as complete strangers to our club could recognise the unbelievable generosity of the Burke Family. We thank Billy Lally and Robbie Donnellan for their help with the drone footage.
The club’s presentation entitled: ‘There is a Jersey for Everyone’ was highly commended by the five person judging panel of Paul Martyn (UEFA 2020 Volunteer Manager), Simon Walsh (SFAI); Eamon Scott (Striker Online), Karl Mitchell, Sport & Active Living Manger, Dublin City Council & Frances Smith (Womens FAI). The presentations by our fellow finalists I’m sure were equally as impressive and indeed we made great friends with the delegates of our own county club colleagues Salthill Devon, Killarney Celtic – Kerry, Enfield Celtic – Meath; Midleton FC – Cork and Newbridge Town – Kildare. We hope they will live up to their proposal to come and visit us quite soon. The decision to apply for the Club of the year application came from Director of Football, Robbie Parker whose amazing insight and vision worked wonders in the application process. Indeed the groups brainstorming created some wonderful ideas which may have helped make our application a little ‘different;’ and was described by the judges as ‘colourful’
As part of the itinerary of our presentation on the day, we had to prepare a booth to give the judges an insight into the club. Our booth was natural and simplistic giving a simple outlook of the club and the voluntary aspect with ‘football’ picture collages created by Laura Parker, some old framed jerseys designed by Mark Donnellan, a beautifully finished stand for our academy world cup trophy handmade by Michael Doyle, Colemanstown; PJ Finnerty’s Colemanstown United banner made in the early 80’s which drew much questioning from the judges and some old trophies and numerous other items of memorabilia. We thank everyone who helped us in any way to prepare for our presentation by providing old photographs and other commemorative items.
As the coveted Club of the Year award was the last one of the night to be announced at the FAI Delegates dinner, there was a tense finale until the announcement was made which came to absolute utter shock and amazement to the 6 delegates in attendance. There were no words to describe our reaction as our joy was inexpressible; full of emotion, euphoria and even tears. It was fitting too that one of the club stalwarts Gerry Moran was present to witness the occasion. Thanks to The Burke Family for the splendid homecoming which was made even more special given that the O35’s also won the Masters League yesterday (match report to follow), bonfires and fine BBQ last night and to DJ Steven in his new role as DJ. Thanks also to Jason Finn who kept social media updated throughout the weekend.
This Award recognises and celebrates the greater Colemanstown community’s voluntary activity in the Club. The club is fully aware that every little bit of volunteerism within the club goes a long way. We thank everyone who has helped us to win this prestigious award. We have borne the fruits of many years of hard work and it is with pride that we now call ourselves ‘Club of the Year 2019’.
Pictured below are the 6 club delegates who attended the awards night alongside founding club stalwart Gerry Moran with FAI President Donal Conway & FAI General Manager Noel Mooney, far right.
Also pictured are club sponsors Frank & Bernie Burke at the homecoming celebrations on Saturday night.