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Castlehaven ladies football team wins West Cork Sports Star Special Achievement Award

February 27th, 2023 5:54 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Castlehaven ladies football team wins West Cork Sports Star Special Achievement Award Image
Rachel Whelton kicks the winning free for Castlehaven in their dramatic 2022 Cork LGFA intermediate final win against Glanmire.

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THE all-conquering Castlehaven ladies football team needs to make room in its bulging trophy cabinet for its latest accolade.

The Haven footballers have scooped the 2022 Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star Special Achievement Award in recognition of their remarkable rise in recent seasons.

County junior D football champions in 2017, Castlehaven have won FOUR championship titles in a row – junior C (2019), junior B (2020), junior A (2021) and intermediate (2022) – to complete a stunning surge to the senior ranks for 2023.

It’s because of this incredible success that the team will receive the West Cork Sports Star Special Achievement Award at the gala ceremony at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery on Saturday, March 11th.

This is always the big night of celebration of West Cork sport and this year’s event promises to be extra special as the awards celebrate its milestone 25th anniversary – and Castlehaven will add great colour and energy to the night.

‘This is an award for the players and for the work that they have put in over the years,’ delighted manager Dinny Cahalane told The Southern Star.

‘This award is not just for what they achieved last year, this is for the journey they have been on since winning the junior D (2017) and coming up through the ranks to now being a senior team.

‘Their commitment and hard work has been incredible and the desire was to get to play senior football. It’s where every player wants to play, and now they will get that opportunity this season.’

Castlehaven will campaign in the Cork LGFA senior championship this year and Cahalane is confident that they can hold their own with the top teams in the county.

‘The players haven’t been fazed by any challenge so far and I’m confident that they won’t be fazed by playing at senior level,’ Cahalane said.

‘We have a few players away travelling, they'll probably miss the league but should be back for the championship. There are a couple of long-term injuries like Grainne O’Sullivan and Rachel Whelton, but we’re working on them and are hopeful of getting them back.

‘The players are training hard, we know it will be a big step-up but we’re not going to make up the numbers either.’

A sign of how Castlehaven are making waves is that the club’s 2022 joint captain Rachel Whelton was called into the Cork senior panel. She is currently sidelined with a knee injury, but Whelton’s rise, and the success of the Castlehaven team, is inspiring young girls in the parish.

‘It’s brilliant for younger girls to see the success of the adult team,’ Cahalane explained.

‘Look at the impact the men’s success had on football in the club – they went from junior B to junior A to intermediate to senior, and took off to win county senior titles. Young players in the club look up to the men’s senior players and now they will look up to the women’s senior players too.’

In the weeks ahead we will announce the winners of the 2022 West Cork Sports Team of the Year, the 2022 Hall of Fame inductee and the 2022 West Cork Sports Star Youth award winner, as we build up to the show-stopping awards on March 11th.

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