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NY Boys & Girls ready for Féile   06/25/2014

John Riordan,

The New York Féile Boys and Girls teams will be part of a record-breaking weekend in the west of Ireland this weekend, the largest Féile Peile na nÓg ever organized.

The NY Boys U14s team will be hosted by Ballina in Mayo while the girls’ temporary home will be in Roscommon as guests of the Roscommon Gaels.

The first New York boys game takes place at Páirc Josie Munnelly in Castlebar this Friday evening (June 27) with Castlebar Mitchels providing the opposition.

Boys Division 1 Group C also contains the famous Dublin club Ballyboden St Enda’s and another big name from Mayo, Ballina Stephenites.

New York girls will compete in Division 3 Group A against Glenamaddy/Williamstown (Galway) St Patricks (Wicklow) and Roscommon Gaels.

Picture courtesy of Michael Maye

Both New York teams travel with confidence and the boys team are particularly feared by their Irish counterparts given the startling growth of the game at underage level in the TriState area.

NY GAA Games Development Officer Simon Gillespie said there was a lovely welcome upon landing in Kerry in recent days before heading on to Mayo. The girls arrived to Mayo on Tuesday ahead of their journey to Roscommon for a Wednesday evening warm-up game against Swinford.

Gillespie, who arrived to New york four years ago, has enjoyed watching both teams grow to this point.

“I first met a lot of the girls Féile players before I even started in America when they came over with a U10 Rockland girls team to my hometown Ballyshannon (Donegal) back in July 2010 so it's been great to see how they have come on," said Gillespie.

“You can definitely see a change in the attitude towards the New York teams. Managers have told us they really don't want New York in their group with the athletic ability of the kids so that's something we are very proud of. 

“Their have been dozens of sponsors for both teams too many to mention in case I forget but enormous credit is due to the local businesses who ensure our kids get to experience GAA in Ireland.”

64 under 14 boy’s teams and 28 under 14 ladies football sides will host a like number from the other three provinces as well as teams from England, Scotland and the USA. 

This is the first year that the competition will be run on a provincial wide basis allowing a wider expanse of teams to partake. 

The 184 teams in action will make Connacht GAA Feile 2014 the largest Feile held in either hurling or football. 

184 teams, 26 central venues, with 24 finals to be played in the Connacht GAA Centre in Bekan. 

736 mentors and 4416 players participating in Feile Peil 2014, it promises to be the largest single sporting event for any age group at any level in Ireland over the year. 

An estimated 10,000 family, friends and supporters will travel with the teams ensuring a busy and bountiful weekend for businesses in 92 different parishes, towns and hotels.

GAA President Liam Ó Neill said: “This year Féile will operate on national, regional and provincial levels as part of what is a hugely important competition for the GAA and especially for those with a special interest in underage activity. 

“Given the massive importance attached to our underage activity the new format for Féile is one we should welcome offering, as it does, more young footballers with the opportunity to participate in a weekend of fun and action that the players will cherish for many years to come.

The GAA Presdient continued: “Sometimes we apply adult values to children’s activities and this inevitably leads to the development of a win at all costs mentality. Such an approach does not lend itself to wholesale inclusive involvement and pressure can be brought to bear on young budding footballers that detract from their enjoyment.

“I am pleased that the new competition structures have the potential to address these pressures and in the process bring the Féile competition to more clubs and crucially more young players.”

Bus Éireann Féile na nÓg - Timetable

Friday (all times local)

92 visiting teams arrive to 26 central venues throughout the province of Connacht.

(Every one of the 184 teams will play two rounds against teams from their own group at the 26 central venues).

•    5.00 pm- Boys Round 1 and Girls Round 1

•    5.40pm- Boys Round 2 and Girls Round 2

•    6.20pm- Boys Round 3 and Girls Round 3

•    7.00pm- Boys Round 4 and Girls round 4

Visiting clubs retire to their host clubs.

Saturday (all times local)

A record 92 venues will be action on Saturday morning as Feile Peil resumes.

•    11.00am or 11.40am- Host team plays visiting team in Boys and Girls round 3

A break will ensue as teams prepare for their quarter final back at a central venue. Every team is still in action after the group stages participating in shield or cup quarter finals in their division.

•    4.00pm-Shield quarter final in boys and girls

•    4.00pm- Shield quarter final in boys and girls

•    4.40pm- Cup quarter final in boys and girls

•    4.40pm- Cup quarter final in boys and girls

•    7.00pm Feile dinner- Connacht GAA centre

Clubs retire to the host clubs

Sunday (all times local)

96 teams will still be action in semi-final action in cup or shield action in a record 12 different divisions at the Connacht GAA centre, Ahgamore GAA club, Ballyhaunis GAA club, Claremorris GAA club, Tooreen GAA club, Eastern Gaels GAA club and Ballinalough GAA club.

•    10.00am- Shield semi-final Boys and girls

•    10.40am- Shield semi-final Boys and girls

•    11.20am- Cup semi-final Boys and girls

•    12 noon- cup semi-final Boys and girls

Finals- after the semi-finals in the 12 divisions and out of 184 teams beginning on Friday evening 48 teams will be left to battle it out for 24 titles at the Connacht GAA centre, Bekan.

•    1.00pm- shield finals in divisions 6, 7, 8 boys and divisions 3 and 4 girls.

•    1.45pm- shield finals in divisions 3, 4, 5 boys and divisions 1 and 2 girls

•    2.30pm- cup finals in divisions 6, 7, 8 and shield finals in division 1, 2 boys

•    3.15pm- cup finals in divisions 3, 4, 5 boys and division 1, 2 girls

•    4.00pm- Rounders exhibition in Connacht GAA centre.

•    4.00pm – cup finals in division 1, 2  boys and division 1, 2 girls

•    5.00pm- Handover of Feile Flag to 2015 Feile hosts.