Tramore AFC Chairman, John Power, receiving his Services to Football Award from Martin Flavin, Waterford Junior League.
The Ramada Viking Hotel was the venue for the Annual General Meeting of the Waterford Junior League on Tuesday evening last where secretary Martin Flavin presented another extensive report on matters facing the league ahead of the new season, which will get underway on Monday, August 19.
In his report, Flavin cited referees match cards, racial abuse and a lack of referees in the current Waterford Branch as cause of concern for the league management committee, whilst the meeting also awarded three Services to Football Awards for 2019.
Over recent years, the committee have presented members of different clubs with these awards and this year they recognised the contribution of Tramore AFC’s John Power, Southend United’s Francie Carey and committee member Michael Butler.
It must be said that these three men have given remarkable service for their respective clubs with Michael Butler servicing on the league committee for the last number of years where he acted as chairman, fixtures secretary and head of the disciplinary unit.
CAUSE OF CONCERN
In a thousand word report to club delegates, Martin Flavin said, “We probably had the best run ever of games with little or no losses due to bad weather, but the league still faces a big issue with regards to teams withdrawing from leagues and match cards being filled out incorrectly.
“It was great to see our Youth team reach the final of the FAI Youth Inter League Cup where we had to play the same opposition, Limerick, twice in three seasons away from home in the final. We would like to thank Anthony Brown and his management team for their hard work on behalf of the league.
“In the FAI Junior Cup, Tramore reached the last 16 of the competition where they lost out to Regional United, while Villa reached the Munster Youth Cup final where they lost to Carrigaline United, the FAI Youth Cup against Mervue United and the Under 17 cup where they lost out to Cabinteely in the quarter-final.
“Carrick United represented the league in the Munster Champions Cup and got to the quarter-finals of the Munster Junior Cup where they lost out to Pike Rovers. I would like to also congratulate all the winners of our local league and cup competitions.
Flavin continued that match cards and racial abuse are a cause of concern for the league. “We continue to find unregistered players, ineligible players, wrong Christian or surnames, players dropping down divisions, and players named twice on the same match card. The match card is the official record of the game and must be filled in correctly.
“Disappointingly, there were three cases of alleged racial abuse reported to the league this season, but unfortunately, the referees did not hear anything in any of these incidents so without independent proof the League were unable to take any action. Should proof be available to the league, then we will take stern action.
“We’re continuing to improve facilities at Ozier Park, the seating in the stand has received positive feedback and we hope to add to these in the near future as well as other improvements. With that in mind, I would like to thank my fellow committee members for their hard work especially Michael O’Neill and John Foskin.”
Southend United’s Francie Carey receiving his Services to Football award from Fixture Secretary Michael O’Neill.
“I would like to thank the members of the referees society for officiating our games and in particular their secretary Paul Butler for his help throughout the season. I would also like to thank John Purcell and Paul O’Keeffe for their outstanding job in appointing referees to our games.
“We have met with the committee and the assessors in recent weeks and we are concerned about the lack of numbers currently in the branch. The position is becoming a critical for all leagues in Waterford and we would urge all clubs to see if their members would be interesting in doing the beginners course.
“I would also like to thank our sponsors, O’Neill’s, Sheridan trophies and Ball Corporation, the local media, Davy Cullen of the Waterford Schoolboy League and Tom Murphy, who does an amazing job with the upkeep of Ozier Park.
“Thank you once again to the Secretaries and Committee members of all our clubs for their continued good work. Without them we would not have football. I wish all clubs the very best of luck for the new season, which will begin on the week of Monday, August 19.”
Michael Butler (League Management Committee) pictured after he was presented with a Services to Football Awards at the league AGM held at the Ramada Viking Hotel. Also included are Damien Tiernan, Vice Chairman, his wife Ann Butler, Martin Flavin, League Secretary and his brother Paddy Butler.