Longford ladies won't get opportunity to defend titles as Leinster Minor and U-16 championships postponed

Seamus McGuire

Reporter:

Seamus McGuire

Email:

pro.longford@lgfa.ie

Longford ladies won't get opportunity to defend titles as Leinster Minor and U-16 championships postponed

Longford ladies won't get opportunity to defend titles as Leinster Minor and U-16 championships postponed

There was much disappointment for LGFA members within the county when it was confirmed last week following a Leinster Council meeting that this year’s U-16 and minor provincial championships would be cancelled due to Covid-19 and time restraints later in the year to play these competitions.

This was a big disappointment for the girls on the U-16 and minor panels and especially disappointing for the minor girls in their last year playing minor football for their county.

This announcement is also heartbreaking for both sets of management as they along with the girls prepared so well for this year’s Leinster championship starting back in November last.

Both of Longford's talented ladies panels turned in brilliant displays in the opening rounds of this year’s Leinster championship with the U16's defeating Kilkenny ladies and the minors getting their Leinster campaign off to a flying start with a good win over Wexford ladies. 

This year 2020 was a big year for both our U16 and minor panels as both sets of girls were out to defend their Leinster and All-Ireland titles won in fine style in 2019.  However, that is not now to be and we can only now look forward to next year’s underage provincial competitions.

Longford LGFA would like to wish each girl on both panels along with their managers and their backroom teams the very best of luck in the years ahead.

We look forward to seeing the girls play with their clubs in the upcoming Longford club championships and also to seeing them all back again in the blue and gold of Longford in the not too distant future. 


Longford Ladies Fixtures
Longford ladies fixtures committee are at present putting together a proposed fixtures plan for the safe return to playing football this summer.

Due to Covid-19, the demand on playing pitches, the availability of referees and due to the short time frame to play games this year, unfortunately it may be the situation this year that the fixtures committee may not be able to fix some underage games at this time.

However, every effort will be made by the fixtures committee and the county board to facilitate the safe return of our games for all clubs and hopefully all girls will get an opportunity to play football at some stage before the end of the year.


It is proposed to commence competitions from July 17 as directed by the LGFA. Underage competitions can hopefully go ahead from this date also with the Senior, Intermediate and Junior championships being proposed to be staged from the end of July onwards. A Gold Cup competition for non-county players is proposed to be played from September onwards.

These proposals are dependent on HSE Guidelines in relation to Covid-19 and further direction from the LGFA. As this is an ever evolving situation the fixtures committee will re-examine any fixtures as we go from week to week. Club secretaries will be informed of all proposed fixtures by email over the coming weeks.


When football competitions do return, Longford LGFA wish to remind all players, officials and supporters to continue to observe the current Covid-19 rules and regulations throughout the football season ahead. Good luck to all clubs with their preparation for training and upcoming football competitions. Hopefully we all can enjoy an exciting and safe return to lady’s football over the coming months. 

All Ireland Ladies Championships
The format for the 2020 TG4 All Ireland Intermediate championship in which Longford Ladies will participate this year have been ratified and the draws will take place on Tuesday, June 30 next. Thirteen teams will contest this year’s Intermediate championship which will be run off on a round robin format to determine the four semi-finalists.

This year there will be three groups of three teams and one group of four in the qualifier phase, with the top team in each group progressing to the last four of the competition.


The dates for the round robin fixtures and the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals will be agreed upon and circulated in due course.

Coronavirus
We are now into week fifteen since the decision by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association along with the GAA and An Cumann Camogaiochta to suspend all activity at club, inter-county and educational levels.

However, following last Friday’s announcement by the government and the fast tracking of phase 3 restrictions on the road to reopening society, we got the welcome announcement on Saturday last from the LGFA that the following changes to the return to activity guidelines have been made after recommendations by the COVID-19 advisory committee.


1. From June 24 all pitches will open for adult training.
2. From Saturday, June 27 pitches will be open to all underage players up to minor level for training.
3. All of the above will be on a non-contact basis and on the understanding that players and all participants have completed the eLearning module and are following the control measures in place.
4. Training can only be in groups of maximum 15 in a designated area of the field.
5. Coaching numbers for underage teams to be consistent with Code of Behaviour.
6. From June 29 contact training and challenge games are allowed.
7. From July 17 club fixtures can go ahead.
8. Intercountry training to commence on September 14 and competitions to start on October 17 as previously announced.


This is all great news for our lady footballers and their managers to get back out onto the football pitches. It is very important that each player, their manager and club committee members educate themselves on the “Guidelines for a Safe Return to Gaelic Games” document and the “Covid Club Education Programme”.


These documents contain information on the roles and responsibilities of players, team personnel, parents/guardians and club committee members with stage 1 also including a club briefing webinar, an eLearning module and educational resources. For more information on the Covid Club Educational Programme login to www.ladiesgaelic.ie or contact Longford LGFA Secretary at secretary.longford@lgfa.ie


Any other details which may emerge in relation to the easing of  LGFA sporting restrictions will be notified by the LGFA to the county board secretary who in turn will forward any such information to all club secretaries. Best of luck to all our teams and their management as you all return to the training fields this week. In the meantime, please remember to follow all guidelines as set out by the authorities, continue to observe physical distancing, keep up the good hand hygiene, ensure regular cleaning and if any of us feel that we have any of the known symptoms of Coronavirus the advice is, do not participate in group/club training take action by self-isolating and contact your GP. Remember Stay Safe. 

Longford Ladies Facebook
We continue to introduce the Longford minor ladies panel by picture and profile on Longford Ladies Facebook page. This way of introducing our minor panel is proving to be very popular and we thank each girl for providing their profile and picture to view and read. Feel free to Like or leave a comment on Facebook for each girl from the minor panel as they are introduced individually each day on Longford Ladies Facebook Page. A sincere “Thank You” to Danielle Mc Loughlin Longford Minor Ladies Group Parent Liaison Officer for all her help with organising the minor lady’s profiles.  

LGFA Injury Fund Changes
All Longford lady club footballers please note,  in line with the latest changes to the “Return to Activity Guidelines”, the following changes to the Injury Fund.
1. The re-introduction for Adult Club Players/Activity from Wednesday, June 24
2. The re-introduction for Minor and Below Club Players from Saturday June 27
3.The re-introduction for County Players/Activity remains the same from September 14.
It is very important that all players from underage up to senior are registered with their club as if not registered you are not insured to train or play any games. 

Thanks
Thanks to Clonguish senior club player Sinead Macken for her interesting and informative interview and views on the ladies game which appear on this week’s Longford Leader. Next week we can look forward to more interesting thoughts and views when we speak with Rebecca O’Kane Grattans Ladies club senior player.

LGFA Webinars
Important webinars for all LGFA club officials, members and players are taking place online over the coming weeks. It is important that everyone makes themselves familiar with the schedule of these webinars and if a topic applies to your role within the club you are encouraged to book a place on that webinar. Below is a list of upcoming online topics.
Topic: “CODA Rules” webinar takes place on June 24 at 7:15pm.
Topic: “Pitch Priorities” aimed at coaches preparing for a return to training and play over the coming weeks webinar on Wednesday, June 24 at 6:30pm.
Topic: “Annual Referee Refresher Course” aimed at all existing LGFA referees and must be completed annually, webinar takes place on July 1 and July 7 at 7pm.
Topic: “Effective Coaching Practice for Gaelic4Mothers & Others” which is aimed at coaches, potential coaches or participants of Gaelic4Mothers&Others teams, webinar on Monday, June 29 at 7pm.
Topic: Covid-19 Club Education Module: This certified eLearning module is available on line and contains the most up-to-date information for players, parents/guardians and team personnel and enables participants to get a certificate to verify completion to their club. Completion time approximately 30 minutes. Location is accessible via any laptop or mobile device. For access go to https//learning.gaa.ie/covid19

Cul Camps
It was confirmed last week that the 2020 Longford GAA Cul Camps will take place this summer. Dates and venues will be announced soon. The camp organisers in Longford are looking for coaches paid and volunteers. If any girl is interested in applying for the paid coach’s role you must be 18 years old on July 1, 2020 and for the volunteer role you must be 16 years old on July 1, 2020. All successful applicants must be Garda vetted. To apply for any of these positions go to the link on longfordgaa.ie


Please Note
If any members of the county Longford ladies panels from U14 up to senior are celebrating any special event or any member of the Longford LGFA community would like to share a story or an event and would like to have it mentioned in these notes please forward your information to pro.longford@lgfa.ie and I will be glad to include your event in this column.