IT’S fitting that the very first Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star Team of the Year Award should go to a local team that achieved an historic first in 2016, Carbery Rangers.
Last year, after years of knockbacks, the Rosscarbery club won the Cork senior football championship for the very first to become the number one team in the county, and they have now been honoured with the 2016 West Cork Sports Star Team of the Year Award, which they will receive at the gala awards night in the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, this Saturday night, January 21st.
‘We were absolutely delighted when we got the news, it’s recognition of where the team has come from and what the team achieved last year so we’re delighted,’ Carbery Rangers chairman Mick Connelly said.
‘Winning the county is obviously the big one, that’s what everyone in the club has been working towards, and then to win an award like this caps it all because it’s a special recognition for this team. It tops off a great year and it’s the culmination of many years of hard work.’
Recognised as the most consistent club football team for several years, Carbery Rangers finally reached the Promised Land last October when they defeated Ballincollig, 1-15 to 1-12, in the county final in Páirc Uí Rinn.
The club held its victory dinner dance last weekend and players were due to return to training this week as preparations begin for the 2017 campaign and the defence of the Andy Scannell Cup. Ross, however, have a new management team after 2016 manager Ronan McCarthy stepped aside late last year and the club has appointed joint managers, former Ross footballer Maurice Moore and ex-O’Donovan Rossa manager Shane Crowley.
Chairman Connelly feels Carbery Rangers have hit the right note with their new management.
‘After winning last year we want to drive on, we don’t want to sit on our laurels, we want to progress so we were very conscious that we needed a strong management team for this year and we’re very happy with how it has all worked out,’ he said.
‘Maurice and Shane complement each other very well and we feel it’s a very strong management team. We have great selectors in there with them, we have Sean Hayes, Eamonn Murphy and Liam Creedon.’
The 2016 Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star Awards will be held this Saturday night and it will see the overall winners from the past year announced. Also, the Team of the Year Carbery Rangers, Club of the Year Bandon GAA and 2016 Youth Sports Star Darragh McElhinney will all be honoured for their achievements.