Club is making great progress on and off the pitch
BY GER McCARTHY
MUINTIR Bháire are on the up both on and off the pitch with the West Cork GAA club’s new playing facilities nearing completion following years of dedicated hard work.
One kilometre outside Durrus, Muintir Bháire’s new development is already reaping dividends with growing numbers of underage players joining the club. Frankie Arundel has seen it all as a player, coach and one member of a dedicated community intent on changing the rural area’s sporting fortunes.
‘We are a club on the up, no question about it, on the up big time,’ Arundel told The Southern Star.
‘Muintir Bháire is flying at underage level at the moment from U14 back. The (playing) numbers are there now and the work we have done within the local schools is making an impact. Going into the schools and coaching children from a young age has made a massive difference.
‘Coaching in the local schools is going on with seven or eight years and is only starting to pay off now. We really focused in on getting the coaching right at that level – spending more time and money on it because we had to if we were going to survive.’
The reality is that Arundel’s club is no longer surviving, it is thriving. Now debt free following years of fund-raising, Muintir Bháire is ready to crack on with the next phase of their development.
‘The new pitch is in, the posts are up and the next stage will be the building of the dressing rooms,’ Arundel explained.
‘We hope to crack on with that before the end of the year. Everyone in the parish has rowed in behind the club and that’s huge because if you don’t have facilities then you are in trouble.
‘I know we are a small rural club but we should aim to be as good as we can. It is all down to the people that foresaw this many years ago, went and bought the ground when it cost a lot of money. We are now debt free; we have paid it all off thanks to a lot of hard work.
We don’t have much but we are very proud of our football. It is a small, tiny enclave but as you have seen in our championship performances, we take great pride in where we come from.’
Muintir Bháire’s Arundel and former Cork senior Sean Levis won a senior football county title whilst representing Carbery. Levis is equally delighted with the progress being made by his native club and sees a bright future ahead.
‘My own son is playing U8 with the club now and it is absolutely fantastic to see nearly 100 kids out on the new pitch,’ Levis stated.
‘Everyone is taking great pride in the seeing how the new pitch is being developed so all the boys and girls from surrounding schools are coming out to be a part of the club and its future.
‘If you get the numbers when they are young then you have some hope of keeping them as they move up through the age-grades. Even keeping 20 per cent of them by the time they get to adult would be huge for a small club like Muintir Bháire.’
On the pitch the junior A team is through to the quarter-finals of the Carbery JAFC after their recent win against Clonakilty. Good times, indeed.