The smiles can be seen everywhere as players are back doing what they like to do best – playing games and training.
Coaches can be heard issuing instructions during training sessions as all clubs and Rebel Óg regions prepare for the return of games from today (July 17) onwards. No doubt a few parents are only too delighted as well to ‘escape’ from their young ones for a few hours!
The last couple of months have been difficult for everyone and we must not forget all those who have made personal sacrifices during the pandemic. Sadly people have lost loved ones and long after the pandemic is but a memory they will still be mourned.
Throughout these strange times, GAA clubs across Cork have shown their community spirit and have helped out with countless jobs, from grocery deliveries, cutting grass, and medical collections to many more jobs for those cocooning or self-isolating.
We must also remember the countless number of GAA people working on the frontline and we thank them for their efforts.
That work will continue but now it is time for games to recommence and get back to the pitches where the cries of ‘my ball’, ‘great save’, ‘unlucky go again’ and ‘great score’ will be heard on pitches from Youghal to Beara and all in between, in the coming weeks.
Players simply love playing and the vast array of games that Rebel Óg are organising will see them get every opportunity to do so from today to the start of October.
In that time span, hundreds of games will take place from U12 to minor at different levels across the county.
Rebel Óg has put a plan in place to ensure there are games to cater to players of all abilities. Considering the short playing window, just over 12 weeks, this has not been an easy task.
Tough decisions had to be made and the plan in place should ensure plenty of games for all players.
With the pandemic, it was decided to try and make this a fun year for players, a theme that the President of the GAA suggested on TV one night when he said just let them go out and enjoy themselves.
So with that in mind, there will be a league structure for U14 and U16s, with finals at the end.
At minor level there will be a championship, to acknowledge the players that will be leaving the underage structure at the end of the season.
All fixtures across the regions are now on this website.
So for now let’s all come together and raise a sliothar/football to all who have made sacrifices over the last few months and to all who have helped to get us back on the pitches.
As the saying goes – let the games commence – and let’s hope the cry of MY BALL is heard all across the county.