August 23rd, 2023

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O’Mordha Óg 2023 finishes and is hailed as a massive success by players and coaches – Many thanks to all involved

Since Tuesday July 18th 2023, the O’Mordha Óg Football Academy for U11 Footballers took place every Tuesday night for 6 weeks and concluded last night Tuesday August 23rd. There was a fantastic turn out of nearly 200 children from across the county and born in 2012 who turned up to the LOETBCOE 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.

Special thanks to John Humes Auctioneers (sponsor) and DsSports (designer) two local Laois businesses, in providing official O’Mordha Óg tops to all coaches involved as a token of appreciation for their great work and commitment.


Head Of Games Shane Keegan was ably assisted by a number of Club Coaches and former Laois Footballers, while also aided by Bryan Breen and Tony McNamara. A special mention to Brendan Phelan who also stepped in to help out over the course of this 6 week programme fresh from his successful stewardship of the Setanta Programme. (The Hurling equivalent to O’Mordha Óg)

Speaking on the night regarding the success of the programme, Shane Keegan gave the following thanks to all in attendance: “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 6 weeks. All the parents who brought their children to the LOETBCOE every week and made sure their children could attend each session and lastly with a big round of applause 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.”

Brendan Phelan: Coach involved in O’Mordha Óg and Co-Ordinator of the hurling equivalent programme Setenta Hurling: “This was a very good programme that catered to all levels and abilities of young footballers born in 2012 from every club in Co.Laois, coaches on this programme got to improve their own coaching skills through sharing knowledge and information with coaches from other clubs and there was great relationship building between all coaches involved. This programme serves as the perfect foundation for young children to prepare for higher level training in future county development squads. Alongside improved athletic development at an earlier age, other values include friendship, socialisation and teamwork. All of these elements which are vital amongst bringing young players together from different clubs, some meeting each other for the first time. The programme aided in the breakdown of traditional club rivalries, replacing segregation with rapport, bringing these players together now to practice together and improve collectively along with individually for future county alliances in development squads as these players progress.”

Former Laois inter county senior player and current Portlaoise player, Gareth Dillon who was a coach in the O’Mordha Óg Programme: “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 & matches which maximised the children’s enjoyment these past 6 weeks.”

Seamus Mulhare: Well known Laois referee, photographer on the night and parent to one of the participants: “The final night of O’Mordha Og is particularly special for all of the youngsters, as all players involved gain the unique and thrilling experience of playing matches on the main pitch in Laois Hire O’Moore Park. Undoubtedly a very proud moment and unforgettable memory for every child, getting to step into the boots of their heroes in the home of Laois GAA and also the field of these players futures.”

Harry Mulhare: Aged 11. Club: The Heath. Participant in O’Mordha Óg. “I found coming here every week very exciting, playing on the pitch in O’Moore Park was amazing and I really want to play here again. I really enjoyed playing with new boys from different clubs and making new friends. My favourite skills I learned here from the coaches, were that I got to improve my skills in defense and I was taught how to do a dummy solo for the first time. On the final night in O Moore Park we played all matches only on the big pitch but in previous weeks also we played loads of matches too and the training drills were also fun.”

PJ Kelly, Chairperson CLG Laois speaking afterwards 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!”