Leixlip United AFC

Founded 1969

Co. Kildare

A message from our Chairman, Paul Martin as the season ends for most our teams

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As another season comes to an end it is time to reflect on the last 12 months. 
On the football pitch we had one of our most successful years ever at underage level. Our under 16 girls won our first ever cup at schoolgirl level when they won the Lee Brothers cup in the MGL. That was quickly followed one week later when our under 13.1 girls won our first ever DDSL cup, beating one of the giants of girls football - Peamount Utd! The under 12.2 girls won their league, again history making as they became our first ever girls team to win a DDSL league. 
The under 12M1 boys won their league meaning we will have 13 Premier and  13 Major teams in next season's league. 13A1 boys went down 1-0 in their cup final but overall they performed very well during the season. 13M achieved promotion and  next season will play in the top division of 14 Premier. We will have teams all playing in the top divisions of the DDSL from at least under 10 to under 14 next season. 15s,16s and 17s will all play in the Major divisions although they may still progress to Premier status if numbers change. The under 18s have suffered over the last couple of years from numerous managerial changes but in the last few months quite a few of them have played senior football with our first and second senior teams. I would go as far as to say that they made a significant impact in keeping our first team in senior football. 
Our senior section endured a very difficult season, All 3 teams were involved in a relegation battle but thankfully all 3 survived. We advertised for a new management team at the beginning of the season but due to a combination of poor results we found ourselves on the hunt for another new management team in January. We managed to secure the services of Wayne Kelly and he and his coaching staff set about the task of securing our intermediate status. Considering our position sitting second from bottom in the table we all knew it was going to take an enormous effort to survive. Somehow we pulled off a great escape act, thanks to a great run of results towards the end of the season. 
Our second and third teams also survived in their divisions, albeit a touch more comfortable than the first team. It was absolutely no coincidence  that results improved dramatically after Wayne's appointment and I am delighted to announce that Wayne will continue as first team manager.  The pathway that Wayne created for our under 18s will continue and in fact expand to include some under 17 players also. If we can continue to get some underage players through to the senior setup that will be a hugely positive step for our club.
We will look to appoint directors of football for our younger girls and boys in the coming year and hopefully this will provide much needed help for our managers and coaches. We put 54 teams out last season and to be honest it was very difficult to accommodate each and everyone of their needs. Training slots were hugely difficult to make work, match day particularly on Sunday's was almost impossible to make work. We hope to install new floodlights on the athletic pitch before September, which would help with the training, although we will need some help from the weather. 
We are at breaking point with the number of teams we are running and some hard decisions will have to be made regarding this. We will definitely need to be more flexible around playing on Friday nights for example, We cannot be expected to change kick-off times to suit other interest groups. We cannot be expected to look for endless postponements of games. For the record, teams are allowed to request a maximum of TWO games off in a season and must give at least two weeks notice. 
I, unfortunately, have to announce that Martin Scanlon has stepped down from his role of fixtures secretary. Martin will be a huge loss to the club and I want to put on the record my sincere thanks to Martin and his wife Deirdre for all their hard work over the years.As long as I have been Chairperson Martin has been fixtures secretary and at this moment I have no idea who will take over the position.  
I wish to thank Austin Hutton and Kathleen Carr for all their hard work as SSG secretary and the girls secretary respectively. I had to help out over a few days when Martin was away and I have no idea how they do the job so well, I was a mental wreck!
The Leixlip Educate Together school has now relocated to Colaiste Chiarain and the area it was on has been tarmacked and we have still to make a final decision on what we will use it for. Some suggestions include moving the strength and conditioning area down there or maybe some extra parking. The parking in my opinion could be tricky with the amount of kids moving around the club. No doubt we will find an appropriate use for the space. 
We have formulated some plans for a new clubhouse and some alterations to the dressing rooms. We have employed an architect and he has come up with some interesting proposals. We would hope to be in position to look for planning permission later in the year. We are looking at removing the Portacabins and replacing them also. It;s very early stages but we are very hopeful we can get this done.
One of the biggest boosts we had in the last year was the refurbishment of the big astro and the installation of our second astro. We should probably pause for a moment and think, we have two full Astros. Unbelievable. The second astro in particular has been a huge benefit to us regarding training slots and games on the weekends. I have to say an ongoing problem has been people not using the correct footwear on the astro, our own people and opposition coaches. We now have signs on the fencing showing the correct footwear needed for the Astros and our secretaries also tell the opposition what the rules are. Next season we will adopt a more rigorous approach to the opposition,  no correct footwear no entry. This is our pitch and these are our rules and the opposition must adhere to our rules and respect our facilities. We shall probably have a box with a number of sets of the correct footwear if they don't bring their own but if that doesn't work, no entry. We also have plans to refurbish the astro on the three cages but that may not take place until 2025, it depends on how the new clubhouse progresses. 
The weekly match reports have been very well received over the past few seasons.  These reports keep everyone up to date with how teams are doing. We send a selection of these results and other topics onto the Liffey Champion and this exposure benefits us in the local community. (I must thank Debbie Moriarty, our PRO, for putting the results and other Information together before sending it onto the Champion. Debbie has done a brilliant job for us over the last 6 years but sadly, for us, she is standing down from the position. Once again I have no idea of how we will replace Debbie but I wish her all the best for the future.) Honestly Paul, there is no need to say this but I appreciate the sentiment.  It was my pleasure to be part of such a great committee.
Our senior ladies section has just one team this year and they are just at the start of their season. It has been difficult to keep young girls playing due to college and work commitments but it has been very gratifying to see a number of our under 18 girls make the transition to the senior ladies set up. This is mainly due to the hard work of Sandra Duffy and Paul Carey  who look after the under 18 girls and the senior ladies. We hope to have teams at 16 and 17 this year in the DDSL girls leagues thanks to all the hard work of Colm Moriarty and David  McCarthy. This alongside the under 8 to 14 girls teams already playing will give us the strongest girl/ladies section ever in our club. When I think back only a few short years ago when our girls section was on the verge of collapse it gives me enormous pleasure to see the huge strides we have made. 
On the June bank holiday, we had probably the most successful Mini Leagues ever and for that I sincerely thank all who helped it run so smoothly. Since I have been removed from any input into the teams it seems to run very smoothly, I must reluctantly concede. The Mini Leagues committee led by Robbie Martin have turned it into, in my opinion, the best of its type anywhere in Ireland. I have no idea what they will do for the 50th Mini Leagues next year but I can't wait for it.
In conclusion I want to thank each and every one of our managers and coaches for all their hard work during the year. I am sorry if I managed to upset any of you during the year. I can't promise to be any better going forward, but I will try!!
To our executive committee again I want to thank you all for your help and support during the last year. I am happy to go forward again as Chairperson and continue this next phase of development in our club.

Thank you!

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