There is a great sense of enthusiasm and excitement surrounding the establishment of a new ladies football club in Tipperary Town.
The ladies, who came together last August for training for the first time, have just started their first season of competitive football, with a huge attendance at training and have already established a loyal fan base.
Tipperary Ladies FC, was born when Patrick Swords and David Rogers organised an indoor soccer hour for ladies.
“A new club for men had been set up in the town and some girls starting asking about a ladies club so a few of us started an indoor session and we just could not get over how many turned up on the night and that was the start of it all,”said club PRO Patrick Swords.
The girls are just two games into their Division Two south league and have recorded their first victory with a cup win over Cashel recently and everybody is enjoying the experience.
There are up to thirty players involved in training and all of them are included on match day on a rotation basis so that they all get playing time on the pitch.
One of those is Rosie Daly who started out as goalie and is now comfortable in the back four.
“I never kicked a ball before, I never played sport even at school so its great to be involved.There are more girls like me who have never taken up a sport who joined the club and are really enjoying it,” said Rosie.
“The manager and the coaches are great, there is never a bad word,its all about encouragement and enjoyment,” said Rosie.
The club has really taken off with training taking place on the all weather facilities at St.Ailbes and at the Abbey,The home fixtures are played on the pitch at St.Ailbes.
The experience of Patrick Swords, Davy and Breda Rogers, who were all involved in the setting up of a new mens soccer club in the town recently, was a huge help in getting the ladies off the ground.
“Together we knew a lot of what was involved in setting up a club because we had just gone through all the steps a short time ago Since the girls all came together they have taken it from there and done all of the work,” said Patrick.
Once the club is established it is the intention of the officers to expand and field more teams including under-age teams in the future.
Club members like Roisin Ryan and Lorraine Kenneally have already made superb progress in taking Kick Start Level 1 and 2 coaching qualifications which will help the club to put out more teams at all ages.
The club crest was designed by local man Robin Daly and what the club needs now to advance is a home of their own so that they will have a pitch available for all their own teams.
“The schools have been absolutely fantastic to us,Only for them we would not have been able to start up.The support that both St.Ailbes and the Abbey have given the club has been wonderful and everybody involved greatly appreciates their help,” said the club PRO.
He was also full of praise for the club sponsors who came on board from an early stage in the setting up of the club and thanked the people of the town for their continued support.
“There is a lot of support for the club in the town. We get a lot of people coming to the matches,even the away ones and its great to have that backing,” said Rosie.
Rosie said that they would welcome more members to come along to the training sessions and to get involved in the club.,
“At the moment we only have one team but that is going to change and the more members we have the better,” said Rosie.
At the moment the club just caters for ladies aged fourteen and upwards and one of their young stars Jennifer Maher has made it onto the South Tipperary Emerging Talent U16 squad.
“The main aim of the club is to create a family atmosphere among the players, supporters and sponsors where participation and involvement is just as important as being competitive to the club,” said Patrick.
It is the first time in over ten years than the town has had a ladies football team and given the turnout at training the development is a welcome one for the town.
“I think about fourteen years ago St.Michaels used to have a ladies club but it died away. it was a big move to get a ladies club going again but after the original meeting for the indoor session it just took off and it has been a great success.There was an unbelievable response when we started up and everybody is enjoying it,” said the club PRO.