The Kildare & District Football League are in the midst of preparations for their 2021 Season following a lengthy absence from the game due to the current Covid19 pandemic.
Club applications are pouring in and MS teams meetings and webinars, which we have become so familiar with, are taking place to ensure a smooth transition to kick off on weekending 4th July 4.
The last face to face meetings with clubs was in fact their Annual General meeting which took place last March just one day before the initial government lockdown. The initial cessation of football coincided with their intended date for the 2020 Season kick off.
However the League did manage to eventually kick the season off on weekending July 31, 2020. Prior to that they, with all clubs, on July 13 in the Keadeen to present their plans for a shortened season to bring them in line with 2021.
Matters were compounded when another lock down ensued, this time a county cessation of football together with Laois and Offaly on August 7. The League did eventually returned to play again on September 13 and continued to enjoy activities until Level 3 and then Level 5 restrictions introduced on October 5, 2020.
To ensure what they would have considered the league successful conclusion of our 2020 activities they discussed a range of criteria with their clubs via MS Teams on November 4, 2020. Application for an extension was subsequently made to the FAI via the League’s Provincial body the, Leinster Football Association on the November 22, 2020.
A series of meetings took place between the Leinster FA, FAI, Government Officials and Sports Ireland over the coming weeks. An extension to conclude the season was granted to all 18 one calendar leagues in the country including the KDFL (extension to 21/3/2021)
However all activities across the country were cancelled due to the second wave of Covid19 over the winter months.
On February 28 the League Executive met with
every affiliates virtually, to officially void the 2020 season as at that point it was clear it would not be feasible to conclude the season prior to the official extension granted by the FAI of March 21.
At the same time it was announced by the Leinster Football Association that their provincial Cup competitions would be put back to Aug/Sept and be run as traditional winter competitions.
It is almost in conceivable that we only in the last number of weeks have seen some hope with the government announcement of a return to full contact training from Monday May 10 with games to commence on Monday June 7.
Since last March the League have endeavouring to keep their social media pages active with trips down memory lane with their archives, covering so far 1994/95 to 2012. They hope to resume shortly with more clips, photos and reports from seasons gone by.
In relation to our website we have engaged the services of Ciaran O'Toole who will be re-structing the website and should have some sample homepages shortly.
The Executive are hopeful the site will be up and running in it’s new format for the commencement of the 2021 season at which stage they will be continually adding to the archive section together with keeping the real time information flowing.
The Executive have been busy behind the scenes during lockdown and have been attending webinars and workshops over the last year to keep themselves abreast of the latest guidelines and protocols and have been relaying the information to Clubs based on official information only so as to avoid any ambiguity.
Preparations are now earnestly underway for 2021 with a series of teams meetings arranged over the coming weeks.
Structures are looking good for a return to four Junior Divisions together with Masters (Over 35s) and Womens Section.
In the lead up to kick off the League have partnered with the Leinster Leader to showcase some of their clubs and the enormous work their volunteers put in to ensure the future of the game in their locality.
First up we have Kilcock Celtic FC and Naas United FC.
NAAS UNITED FC: Naas United was formed in 2009 at a meeting in The Church of the Irish Martyrs, where Ger Coady, Donal Coyle, and Tommy Barrett were elected to run the club affairs.
At the time we set out with just two teams — A Senior Team and an Under 15 side.
The club was founded with a key value — to provide affordable soccer to all areas of Naas. The work we do has a positive impact not only on our players but also on their families and the youth of the community.
Naas United FC is to provide members with the training and development they need to become successful both on and off the pitch.
Our structures allow us to achieve this goal and we are one of the fastest growing clubs in Kildare with an impressive list of honours at KDFL and KDUL level.
Currently Naas United are competitive at the following levels: KDUL for children born in 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2012. In the KDFL we have a Senior Men’s Team.
A group of volunteers are responsible for the running of the club. Our Board and Committee are supported by a number of parents who invest their time and efforts to help the club grow.
Along with the players, managers, and coaches, we look to build on our recent successes.HONOURS
KDFL Senior Division — winners 2012, 2014
KDFL — Lumsden Cup, winners, 2015
KDFL Lumsden Shield, winners 2012
KDFL Senior Division, Cup winners 2012, 2014.
KDFL Premier Division — winners 2010.
KDFL - DIV 1 Cup, winners 2015
KDFL Division 3 LEAGUE winners 2014
KDFL Division 3 Cup winners 2013, 2014
KDFL Division 3 AND 4 Shield – winners 2010
KDF Masters League Div 1 winners 2017,2018
KDFL - Masters Shield winners 2013, 2014, 2015
KDFL - Masters League Div 2 winners 2015
KDFL Youth Cup – winners 2010, 2012
The club's existence came about as a result of a challenge to the local Leaf Utd team to play a team from the town in a friendly, which resulted in an honourable draw for the townies. The seeds were sown, and Courtown Rangers came into existence.
A committee was formed comprising Chairman Paddy Corscadden, Secretary Martin Byrne, Treasurer Pascal Prior, plus a committee from players. Steve Lambert was appointed player/manager. His W-M formation, tactic board, and chess pieces as players, were to become a regular part of our training schedule.
Our application to join the Amateur Football League was accepted and we were placed in division 5. The club started an underage section in 1975 and changed its name to Kilcock Celtic.
It was in the late 70s, early 80s that the underage section began to enjoy success in the Catholic Youth Council League.
Kilcock Celtic joined the Kildare Football League in 1994 as a founding member.
When this journey started in 1970, you can be sure nobody was thinking that we would be still kicking ball in 2020. That we are, is due in no small part to the determination and ded-
ication of a great many people, both on the pitch, and off the field, sadly too many are no longer with us, but I am sure that they are still keeping watch over us.
The growth of the underage section ensured that a steady flow of players were coming through to the senior ranks. It was the 2003 -2004 when Kilcock Celtic won their first trophy in the Kildare League capturing the Div 1-2 shield in 2004.
The following seasons proved to be very successful, with the senior team winning the Div.1 cup in 2006 and 2007.
The second team got their turn winning the Div 3/4/5 cup in 2010, and gaining promotion in successive seasons 2010, and 2011 the first time it was done by a Kilcock Celtic team in the Kildare League.
The club set up Football for All under the guidance of Ray Dully. Others to contribute in maintaining the section over the years included Conor Dully, and Donna Craig, Tony Barrett, John Hill, and Sean Hill. Tony was instrumental in organizing the Nursery which was taken on by Owen Wynne.
In 2018 Kilcock Celtic started its first ever girls team. What started out with only a handful of players has now become a thriving entity within the club.
We now have six full squads with over 80 girls between the U11, U13 and U15 squad and a brand new Over 25's Ladies Recreational squad.
Kilcock Celtic has also signed a pledge with the 20X20 campaign to encourage more women in sport on all levels. To date, we have 15 women involved with the club through either coaching or committee duties and we continue to encourage more women to get involved.
U13's & U15's train Mondays 7-8pm & Wednesdays 7.15-8.15pm (U15s urgently need players , contact Kevin on 087 9184440); U11's train Fridays from 5.30-6.45.
Our Over 35s Women’s team had their first training session on March 20 2020 thank to Sharon who wanted to see an option for women of a certain age to be involved in football They currently have 29 players with players from Kilcock and surrounding towns and train on the new all-weather every Monday (8pm) and Wednesday (8.30pm).
The club currently have over 400 players across all ages from 4 to over 35s, with the number of coaches growing fast surpassing 65 at present.
Academy 5 & 6 & 7 (cksocceracademy) U 8; 9, 10(x2), 11, U11 Major 4; U12 Premier, U12 Major 1; U12 Major 2; U13 Major 1; U13 Major 2; U14; U15; U16; U17; U18; Seniors; O35 men.
Ladies Football: U11; U13, U15, Over 35s ladies.
Kilcock Celtic celebrated its 50th year in existence in 2020, however due to Covid restrictions we could not celebrate it as we would have liked too.
In 2019 the club embarked on the project of putting a state of the art all weather pitch in the Bawnogue, which has cost in excess of €600,000, and has been open since September 2020. It is definitely something that everyone involved in the club can be very proud of, as it sets us on the road to the next 50 years for the club. We were very lucky to receive a huge donation of the grass carpet from McArdle Sports owned by James McArdle, a former resident of Kilcock. We then set about our fundraising project and raised over €65,000 from our lip sync night, which was hugely supported by the local community and businesses, and our two christmas draws in 2019 and 2020. We received a sports capital grant of €23,000 and the kildare Leader program supported us with a huge grant of €152,000, we borrowed the remaining €200,000 from Community Finance Ireland, and we thank them all for supporting us in the way they have.
The club has now become an affiliate club of League Champions Shamrock Rovers in 2020, which again is a huge endorsement for the club, and we are already seeing the benefits of doing so with Tony O'Neill from Shamrock Rovers helping us with our coach education program.
The club is now in a position to host a number of summer camps: Ciaran Kilduff Summer Camp from July 12-16. FAI summer camp from July 19-23.
Shamrock Rovers Girls only from 2nd to 6th August 2-6.
We also have plans for a number of Blitz's throughout the summer months, to advertise the club and show what we have to offer.
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