It does not happen often, but, everynow and again, you really understand what it means to be part of a club. Tonight, our men's team, returned from Connemara having beaten MacDara and won their league. As the lads gathered for a few pints and sat down together to share a meal, you could sense the energy and satisfaction in the room. I walked in and saw the cup...I wasn't sure how to describe it...small and slightly wonky... But, you know what, it didn't matter, each of the team picked their cup up and reflected....August pre-season, 14 league matches contended, some horrificn pitches and weather, and, they emerged as winners - how can there be any better feeling. Most of the team have grown up playing with Colga, some have left for a spell, and it has been a while since this group had shared any success - tonight, you get the sense of a journey recommenced. The first step towards something slightly unknown, but, filled with potential.
Earlier today, I met a former Colga coach - he had just arrived in Kilcornan with his team getting ready for an under 12 league match. I bumped into him in the car park of the new clubhouse just beside the fence with all of the club's new sponsors. 12 months ago, he left the club, didn't feel it was quiet right, the structure and support just wasn't there...he glanced around, reflected, and said, "this is unbelievable, the change and progress is stunning. And, and, the place smells of football." To me, there cannot be any better compliment.
I left him and got our own team ready for the match. We warmed up and then sat in the dressing room together. "Can you smell it lads," and they looked at me worridely, "there is no smell like this in the world. This is the smell of football." And out they strode, walked down the new steps, onto their new pitch, and knew they were part of a club.
Tonight, I got the next bag ready. For all that happened today, tomorrow ignites another journey. Our under 10 team heads off to compete in Mayo in another tournament. My son plays...I can only try to guess into his mind. He has his gear bag ready...his boots, not exactly clean, his socks and shinpads, he is worried because he has no tape, his shorts, his jersey, and his Colga hoodie. His questions - what time are we going, who are we playing, is it on grass? I asked him how he was feeling about the matches tomorrow and he said...."Dad, I have that feeling....you know, I can't wait but I've got that strange wonky feeling in my tummy."
I know, I said. "Every now and again, and it's not that often, sometimes you just get that feeling."
Saturday, 16 April 2016
Friday, 8 April 2016
On Sunday, April 10th, Colga FC will host an open house meeting to get input and ideas on the future of our club. The meeting takes place from 4-6pm in Paddy Burkes and the club welcomes anyone with ideas or initiatives they would like to bring to the club as we work towards our vision for the next 5 years. If you are wondering why you should attend, please take a moment to read through the following
Colga FC is a community based football club entirely run by volunteers – focused on providing the best possible football facilities, coaching, and environment for our players, coaches, and members.
Back in 1996, when Colga was formed, the club provided football for one men’s team. Twenty years on, nearly to the day, Colga FC now runs 24 girls, boys, ladies, and men’s teams and has nearly 500 players and members. The club has won premier leagues, has consistently competed in the latter rounds of the Connacht and Irish cups and has achieve national cup success. We currently boast 2 UEFA B licensed coaches and more than 40 certified FAI coaches. Irrespective of who you ask within the circles of the Irish football family, Colga is instantly recognized as a club growing, on the move, and providing a wonderful environment for the development and preparation of our players.
Five years ago, the club held an open house meeting to ask the members their view of the future of the club. Your answer was clear – build us a place we can call our home…invest into coaching and provide the best possible support, structure, and environment to develop players through the medium of football. It is quite amazing to think back to that meeting and realise all that has been achieved. Kilcornan now stands proud as the home of Colga FC – a floodlight training area, 2 full sized pitches, a brand new lower pitch used today for our younger kids but soon to be opened as our main pitch, sponsorship signage from our friends and local businesses surrounding our pitches and instantly making our home recognized as a place of “football,” and a brand new clubhouse and dressing rooms providing our players, coaches, and friends with a “home.”
The question is – what is next?. Each and every one of our members and friends should be part of that discussion. The meeting next Sunday will not be about Colga presenting our plans for the future – it will be about asking each and every one of us what we want our club to be. What do we need Colga FC to be for our daughters, our sons, ourselves, and expressing an opinion about what we can jointly achieve.
I would really appreciate the support of the entire Colga family to come and attend this meeting. We will not keep you long, we want you opinion, we will listen, and our joint goal is to agree a future of what we want Colga to be in 2020.
Chairperson, Colga FC