For the first time ever Tipperary Schoolboys Southern and District League is represented on the national executive organisation for schoolboys soccer.
John Early, a member of Clerihan soccer club, was recently elected to the national executive of the Schoolboys FAI as a Munster representative.
It is a prestigious post and gives the TSSDL a voice at the top table in the administration of soccer at schoolboy level.
Johnhas experienced a meteoric rise in the administrative ranks of schoolboy soccer.
He was involved in the development of community facilities in Clerihan and had no link to any soccer club up until he was one of the founders of Clerihan soccer club in 2001.
The club forged strong links with FAI Chief Executive John Delaney which resulted in the visit of Giovianni Trappatoni to the club.
“The facilities that are now in place for the community in Clerihan are fantastic and it was all achieved in such a short space of time,” said John,who is also the secretary of the TSSDL.
He was elected to the national executive in September having been a council member for the last four years. John, who was nominated for the post by North Tipperary and Waterford, said the profile of the Tipperary Schoolboys league was greatly enhanced last year when the inter league All-Ireland finals were held in Cahir.
“Cahir hosted four All-Ireland finals that day and people came from all over the country and were greatly impressed with the facilities. People expect to see that standard of facilities in Dublin and it is no harm to show people that such facilities exist outside of Dublin. We were all very proud of how the event was run and hopefully having the All-Ireland finals there will become an annual event,” said John.
One of John’s primary objectives is the provision of a full size all weather pitch in South Tipperary and he intends to pursue that goal during his term of office.
He praised the contribution of FAI coach David Lenane in South Tipperary and said he brought everybody together in his role and great strides had been made in South Tipperary since his appointment.
“The number of young boys playing soccer in South Tipperary is growing all of the time, There are fifteen clubs and most of them have a number of teams at all of the age groups. It is encouraging to see so many young people play the game and the clubs in this league are doing a great job in providing them with the opportunity to play,” he said.