Irvinestown and Derrychara go up as Connolly hits out at abuse
Gordon Lee who has taken on the role of Fermanagh and Western Registrar.<<
The Fermanagh & Western League held its AGM on Tuesday past which rubber-stamped a few issues which had been up for debate recently.
The main talking point was who would fill the spare place left by the enforced exit of Ballinamallard Reserves in Division 1, rumours circulating included Shelbourne applying to be reinstated after finishing second from bottom in Division 1, another was that NFC Kesh who are leaving the North West intermediate league would perhaps take the vacant slot, and the final one was that Irvinestown Wanderers, who finished third in Division 2 would be promoted along with Strabane Athletic and Killen Rangers. That option would also see Derrychara United promoted to Division 2 after finishing third in Division 3.
Prior to the AGM, all of last year's management committee adjourned to another room in the Bawnacre Centre and it was that committee which took the final decision and this decision was announced during the course of the evening. As it turned out the decision was never really in doubt, given the rules as they currently exist, both Irvinestown Wanderers and Derrychara United were promoted, Shelbourne compete in Division 2 and NFC Kesh must begin at the bottom and work their way back up from Division 3.
There had been much debate over the lack of intermediate football locally and NFC Kesh's return would suggest that clubs may have to wait for the F&W to try to upgrade from Junior to Intermediate if their ambition is to play at a "higher level". This step up has seemed to have died a death recently with not any mention from either Management Committee or any member clubs during the course of this AGM. For the first time in a number of years no applications from any new clubs were received, the only change being Churchtown changing their name to St Patricks.
Seven clubs have entered Youth sides in to a new youth league (Under 18) and it was decided that this will be played on a home and away basis.
Secretary Gerry Connolly's report was as detailed and comprehensive as ever, outlining a very successful year for football in the area and congratulating all the successful sides. He went on to thank the local press for their continued coverage but did take issue with one Tyrone columnist for his "inane rantings".
Another thorny point within the report was the decision of last year's Management Committee not to permit a change of venue for Enniskillen Town's home venue against Enniskillen Santos. The affair led to rules having to be altered and the Secretary felt that the decision felt that "several members undoubtedly seized the opportunity to discriminate against Enniskillen Town". Gerry also reported he had received verbal attacks from supporters of Lisbellaw Football club who took issue with certain decisions he had made. Gerry pointed out that all his decisions as League Secretary are made with the League's interest always coming before his own club's interest.
The Treasurer's Report outlined the League had had a healthy financial year, with incomings greater than expenditure. Chairperson, Neil Jardine then addressed the AGM and mentioned the new website which should be in place sometime this season, the recently established F&W Hall of Fame was a highlight for Neil last season and in particular the fact that his father-in-law, Enda Love and Brendan Keogh had been the first inductees. He also mentioned the honoraria given to the various office holders which had come in for some criticism recently and outlined that any monies given were "paltry in comparison to the hours worked".
The election of officers saw only one real change from last year, Gordon Lee the Treasurer, taking on the added duties of Registrar as Rory Lynch stepped down from the post after three years in which the Castlederg man had overseen major change in the registration of players and justifiably received praise from all quarters.
The final motion to have games moved from 2.30pm to 2.00pm during the worst of the winter months was soundly defeated.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 28 Jun 12