Club of the Year Finalists 2012

On Friday 20th July 2012 a group from Enniskerry FC left the village at 6:30 a.m to drive up to Letterkenny, Donegal for the FAI Club of the Year competition.

As part of the competition criteria, the clubs had been asked to prepare a Club Stand, along with a Presentation to be made to the panel of Judges.

Preparation of the Club Stand had taken place over the few weeks preceding the competition however but for the fantastic mission-critical help of Conor Flood it’s highly unlikely we’d have been able to have the brilliantly designed Club Stand that we ended up with. Conor, who’s currently [July 2012] studying Graphic Design at college, took the content and images we’d come up with and created a fabulous looking Club Stand on very short notice. Anyone looking for some graphic design work would do well to get in touch with him through his website. Thanks Conor!

In little time the Enniskerry FC Club Stand was standing proudly alongside the 7 other Clubs, encapsulating the Judges’s 2012 main criteria which were:

  • Contribution to the Community
  • Club Vision and Plan

Over the course of the afternoon a huge number of FAI Delegates and club representatives spent time visiting the 8 Club of the Month winners’ stands, with many people taking a keen interest in what Enniskerry FC has achieved over the last 44 years since its inception in 1968.

By mid afternoon the time had come for the Club to make its PowerPoint presentation to the panel of Judges:

  1. Donal Conway: FAI Chairman Underage Committee. A member of the 10 member FAI Board of Management. Mr Conway leads the FAI Schools endeavours.
  2. Paul Martyn, FAI Club Development National Co-ordinator
  3. Eoin Brannigan – Sports Editor, Daily Star
  4. Karl Mitchel – Sport & Active Living Manager, Dublin City Council (like a PRO for sports activities in Dublin)
  5. Kevin West – Carlton Hotels.  Mr West is the Carlton Hotel Group’s Sports Sales Developer. Having started his career playing rugby for Auckland, New Zealand Mr West then travelled to Ireland to coach rugby. He has coached clubs in Ireland within the All Ireland Rugby League and also the Irish National Women’s Rugby Team.
  6. Mark Russell – Aviva Hotels (who we had met at the Club of the Month event in February), Group Sponsorship Manager.

Not a million miles away from being in front of the panel on Dragons’ Den, our team gave a polished and professional 10 minute presentation that was followed up with some Q&A. Once we’d concluded our pitch it was back to the Club Stand and then a turn-around at the hotel to get ourselves ready for the set-piece (no pun intended) dinner in the evening.

At the culmination of the evening Paul Martyn, FAI Club Development National Co-ordinator, ripped open the envelope that contained the winner’s name for Club of the Year. The tension in the room was palpable: alack and alas, it wasn’t to be Enniskerry FC’s year, but there was no shame in coming joint runners up with the 6 other clubs in the same position. The winning club, Midleton FC, deserve every congratulations, as do the 6 others that in addition to Enniskerry FC competed for the title.

Overall it was incredibly encouraging to the see the extremely high calibre of community football clubs that are scattered far and wide around our great country.

The 8 Aviva 2012 Club of the Month winners were:

1)      October: Enniskerry FC

2)      November: Crosshaven AFC

3)      December: Birr Town FC

4)      January: Moville Celtic FC

5)      February: Nenagh AFC

6)      March: Midleton FC

7)      April: Ardee Celtic FC

8)      May: Kilbarrack United FC