February 2016

I haven’t updated the website or blog for awhile now, sorry about that, but it is due to a mixture of being incredibly busy at work and with family life,  a bout of depression and a very complicated issue that I might be able to tell you about another time. I always suffer a bit at this time of year, what with the weather being so bad. We had a beautiful sunny day yesterday and I could feel my mood being up lifted. Back to a cold damp, windy day today.

James & Mair waiting for a ride

So much has happened I am sure to miss out a few things. We had a great trip over to Cardiff for the second part of the Welsh Team Championships where Mair and James played for Aelybryn with Beth and Kate Roberts.

James & Kate Roberts in the doubles

The guys had lots of close matches and once again finished in 3rd place in Division 1. We hope that we get the chance to do this again next season as it is great to get some variety of play. As a note we stayed at the Budget Ibis in Cardiff which was great value and the flights over weren’t too bad either actually working out cheaper than some of the Irish tournaments we play in.
Mair has been attending the monthly Irish training camps this season and I took the opportunity to take one of my other kids Suki to Dublin last time, it was a good experience for her and gave me something to do during the two days.

Suki getting her ears pierced

This coming weekend Mair is off again and my wife will take her, I think she is taking her bike as well in order to have something to fill in the time. These camps are always held in Dublin which is a 5 hour trip for us and it is not only the expense that makes it tough but the amount of time we as parents have to spend trying to find something productive to do while she is in the hall training all day. This weekend is even tougher as there is a Munster Ranking on at Ballincollig and I will have to spend the weekend driving up and down to Cork on both days. Thankfully my sister-in-law has agreed to look after the two younger ones on the Sunday.

Tom, my new assistant coach in Bantry

There has been a welcome return of one of our squad players from a couple of years ago as Tom Walsh has decided to try and get involved again. I haven’t really been able to give him the training or preparation required to play at a Munster Ranking but he will enter this weekend anyway and give it a go. Thankfully James has agreed to come along to one of the Bantry sessions to lend a hand.
What with pre-exams for the last couple for weeks James has not had the chance or the inclination to be in the training hall much and we had an Irish Ranking in the guise of the Connaught Open this weekend just gone. He played well enough on the Friday to reach the Senior Men’s ¼ finals but admitted himself that he wasn’t firing on all cylinders. They had a very weird draw for some of the junior events with the winners of the second round groups going to semi finals and the second place finishers going to quarter finals. James missed out on the semi finals after not taking 5 match points and ended up missing out on the quarter finals as well with the result. He did make the U21 Semi finals but it was a mixed weekend for him.

Mair also had a mixed weekend after reaching the Senior Ladies ¼ finals she finished 8th U18 which she was bit disappointed with however she came back to win the U21 Title with a couple of great wins including beating the Senior Ladies Champion.

Erik collecting his 4th place U13 trophy

Another one of my players Erik reaped the benefit of the strange draw over the weekend and reached the semi final of the U13s after winning his second round group. He eventually finished fourth which is his best result to date and as the ¼ stages was his season goal that’s a nice one to tick off for the season.

Mair helping out at Gael Scoil during her half term

On the local front things have been going very well with attendances high at both Bantry and Skibbereen junior sessions and the small number of players in Goleen continue to improve with so much personal attention. Gael Scoil numbers have also increased with a number of new young players joining in, it make the capacity issue tough but they all seem to be enjoying the sessions if a bit rowdy in the process.

A busy night in Skibbereen

Special Olympics sessions are also progressing well and I have James helping me out today at Co Action during his half term. I am hoping to persuade a couple to enter a Munster Ranking event now they are trying to establish a learning disability competition but I think it will take some persuading as getting lifts as far as Cork are problematic.

Driving them hard in Goleen

There is only one more Irish National Ranking event left and that is the Irish Junior Nationals but we still have the Interpros and a Munster Schools League to prepare for. I am finding it very difficult to co-ordinate the schools at the moment, they are all playing and actively involved but again the transport issue and costs involved are hurdles that prevent more participation.

Last TY session at Mercy Height

I am looking into trying to organise another trip to Belgium for the International Youth Cup in Hasselt but there are no flight from Cork and I am not sure if the Irish Squad are traveling and if that will include Mair so I will just have to wait and I hope it won’t be for too long.
So that’s my blog for this month so far a bit of a hurried affair and I think I have missed out loads of news but it is time to hit the road again and I think if I leave it much longer to post this I might just miss out all together!