Extra prize for Kilkenny's Premier clubs

Trevor Spillane

Reporter:

Trevor Spillane

Email:

tspillane@kilkennypeople.ie

ThomastownCup

Thomastown United celebrate winning last season's McCalmont Cup. They'll have the chance to add another trophy to the cabinet with an additional prize for Kilkenny's Premier Division clubs this term.

Top flight teams will have the chance to earn some extra silverware in the Kilkenny & District’s Premier Division this season.

With a shortened league campaign, the League have announced that teams will be able to play more games in a bonus competition.

The 90th Anniversary Cup will see all seven teams from the Premier Division, plus one side invited from Division One, compete in two-legged ties on a home and away basis for both the quarter-finals and semi-finals (if teams are level after the second game the tie will be decided on penalties, with no extra-time played). The final will be a one-off game.

With the Premier Division to return to nine teams next season, it is expected to be a one-off competition.

No Women’s Team

The Kilkenny & District League will not field a team in this year’s women’s inter-league, but hopes to return in the future.

The Cats, two-time winners of the Angela Hearst Trophy, were left with no choice but to opt out of the this year’s competition through a lack of personnel.

East End United and Newpark are currently the only sides playing 90 minute game on grass but neither are in a local league.

Kilkenny had asked for permission to use players from both sides - East End play in Wexford, who have no inter-league side while Newpark, who compete in Carlow, have no players on the Carlow side - but their request was turned down.

“We would ask clubs with women’s teams to get their sides playing 90 minute grass leagues again in Kilkenny,” said League committee member Fran Egan, who was part of the inter-league team’s management.

“Let’s back the girls and get a league going again.”

While there is no competitive 11-a-side league for women at present (they currently play in a small side game on all-weather pitches) there is hope for a return to full leagues in the future. With 10 teams competing in the girls’ under-16 league it is hoped to replicate that number at under-18 level next year, with a women’s competition to follow.

Festival of Football

Clubs from beyond the county borders who play in the Kilkenny & District League will be able to join in the Festival of Football next Summer.

Following an appeal from the League Ballacolla, Clover United, Lions and St Ann’s will be able to get involved in the FAI’s week-long event next July. Previously the Festival was open only to teams from Kilkenny, but now all sides who compete in the League can join in and avail of funding set aside for local clubs.

The FAI are currently compiling an agenda of visits to local venues for the Festival, with all clubs encouraged to get involved.

No Free Weekends

A fixture backlog in three schoolboys divisions means clubs will no longer be able to request weekends off.

The competitions - Under-13 Division Two, Under-14 Division Two and the Under-17 League - are so far behind in terms of games played that the League will look at splitting competitions at the half-way stage to ensure they are finished by the Summer.

“With 11 and 12 teams in these competitions games are falling behind,” said League chairman John Corrigan. “We will have to keep going through Christmas and the New Year to get back on track, but in order to finish them completely we won’t be able to give any more free weekends to teams in these competitions.”