As most members are now aware, my time as an employee of Ballyboden St.Endas has come to an end. After 19 years, firstly as club coach and later as Director of Coaching it is time for a new challenge. Never would I have thought when Gerry O’Sullivan and Pat Nash interviewed me for the job in the front office (now the club shop) back in 2002 that I would have still been in the job nearly two decades later.
I am grateful to everyone in the club who assisted me in my role over the years. I have huge love for the club and massive respect for those who give up their time to help run such a big organisation. We all know that our club couldn’t function without the committees and mentors who run the sections and the teams.
Some of the many highlights for me over the years were, the growth in Academy numbers especially the Knocklyon Pk Academy and the enjoyment that so many children in our community get every summer from participating in the summer camps. One of the main highlights each year was the Family Day on the May Bank holiday weekend. This day really summed up the club for me and showcased why Ballyboden is at the heart of the community.
Going in and out of our local schools on a near weekly basis over the years is another memory that I will be very grateful for. The support shown to me and to the club from the principals and teachers was always top class.
There are too many people for me to thank individually but I would like to thank the 6 Chairpersons who I worked under since 2002, all of whom put coaching and games to the forefront of the agenda in their time as Chairperson.
They are Gerry O’Sullivan, Ronan Hore, Paddy Walsh, Terry O’Neill, Brendan Moran (RIP) and Ciaran Maguire. Special thank you to Ciaran whose support over the last number of months has been second to none.
I would like to thank Noel Sheridan, whom I was lucky to have as general manager for 17 of my 19 years in the club. Noel was always a rock of sense and taught me to count to ten more times than I care to remember!!
Paul McLoughlin and myself worked side by side since he came on board with the club in 2005. Paul’s application to his work is exceptional and I’d like to thank him for all his help and assistance over the years both in a professional and personal capacity.
Ned and Mick were the two Bar managers with whom I worked closely over the years. I’d like to thank them both for helping me in my role and also for the craic along the way.
I only got to work with our new General Manager Con for a short while but his assistance particularly during the Covid period was very much appreciated and I wish him well as he gets going fully in his role.
While every decision that I made over the years may not have met with everyone’s approval, I can honestly say that every decision that I made was based on putting all of the player’s best interests first. This was a piece of advice that I received back in 2012 when I took over as Director of Coaching and I tried to live by it whenever tough decisions had to be made.
As most of you would know by now, I have pivoted away from coaching for the time being and have gone into the bicycle game. Along with fellow clubman Conal Keaney we have bought Mikes Bikes in Dun Laoghaire. Anyone looking for a new bike or to get an old one repaired is more than welcome to drop out for a visit!!!
Now that my fulltime role in the club comes to an end it is time for me like the hundreds of other volunteers in the club to get stuck in and help out with my own kids teams.
I’d like to pay a special tribute to my wife Joanne who helped me out at every turn and allowed me to carry out my role in the club over the years. Luckily for me, I married someone who was embedded in the GAA and knew what she was getting into.
I wish all of the teams the best of luck as we finally get back to playing games in the coming weeks. I’m not gone too far so I am sure that I will see you all around the clubhouse or pitches in the near future.
Yours in Sport,