For the first time in the club’s 91-year history, players from O’Connor’s, Glack GAC, will play in Croke Park.
The historic move for Glack’s U12 and U10 players comes courtesy of the Derry County Board/Club Derry sponsored competition “Road to Croker”, which they placed as runners-up.
Club chairman, Noel McKenna said it’s a big day for the club and Glack, which is just a couple of miles outside Ballykelly.
“It’ll be a sleepless night for the players tonight,” he said, joking: “And some of the adults too!”
To have a chance at playing in the home of gaelic games, Glack had to run a number of 10-minute five-a-side games for their underage players over the winter months. In all they held more than 30 games against several teams, illustrating just how much player numbers at underage level have grown.
“We’ve put a lot of emphasis on our underage structure and that’s paid dividents,” said Mr. McKenna.
The club found out the good news just recently and have been training hard to make sure they make an impression at GAA Central.
“The kids are over the moon, everyone is,” said Mr. McKenna. “Glack has never fielded a player at Croke Park before, not at League or Championship level. These will be the first sky blue and maroon shirts ever to play there. It’s history in the making for the club and for Glack. It’s a big day.”
Around 20 young players will be accompanied by Mr. McKenna; coaching officer, John McLaughlin, and several mentors alongside local councillor, and Limavady deputy mayor, Orla Beattie who will be adding a bit of bling to the day with her mayoral chain.
“Its brilliant and I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.”I’ve been to Derry matches before, but Croke Park is the one place I’ve never been to, so it’ll be a first for me too! It’s a fantastic opportunity for the kids and the club, definitely something for them to remember. Since becoming a councillor I’ve become more involved in the football club. It’s really growing and is a focal point for the community.”