The return of the Ó Mórdha Óg Football Academy for U-11 footballers in Laois has proved a massive success.
There was a fantastic turn out of nearly 200 children from across the county and born in 2012 who turned up every Tuesday night to participate in this programme.
The aim of the programme was to offer high quality coaching sessions dedicated to fostering the growth and development of young athletes in the Laois GAA community.
Head Of Coaching and Games with Laois GAA, Shane Keegan, was ably assisted by a number of club coaches and former Laois footballers.
While he was also aided by Bryan Breen and Tony McNamara. Brendan Phelan who, spearheaded the successful hurling equivalent, the Setanta Programme, also came on board.
Keegan said: “I want to show appreciation for and give big thanks to the following: all the coaches who committed to the programme and dedicated their time over the last six weeks.
“All the parents who brought their children every week and made sure their children could attend each session and lastly to all the players yourselves who participated as this programme could not have happened without you.
“You have all been excellent to work with and shown great improvement over the course of the 6 weeks. Well done to all.”
Former Laois and current Portlaoise player, Gareth Dillon, who was a coach, said: “As a novice to coaching in general, being able to leverage and learn skills from these other coaches I met on O Mordha Og was very valuable.
“For the benefits to the players themselves involved: I particularly enjoyed how all the coaches adapted their methods to particular age groups at hand.
“There was a great variety and combination of drills and matches which maximised the children’s enjoyment these past six weeks.”
PJ Kelly, Chairperson CLG Laois, said: “Sincere thanks to the organisers, sponsors, all coaches and mentors whom assisted in the programme over the weeks and especially to all the players and their families whom gave a fabulous commitment and provided support in attending the programme.
“We wish all players and coaches the very best in their years of participation with Laois foootball that lie ahead.”
Check out some great pictures from the final night, kindly supplied by Seamus Mulhare.