Mayo League Referee Damien McGraith has been appointed to act as Referee Assistant for the UEFA Under 21 Cup Final in Denmark between Spain and Switzerland (on 25June).
Talking to Damien, after the announcement, he said he could not believe he was appointed to the Final, and was over the moon.
Messages of congratulations to Damien are winging there way over to Denmark from all parts of the country.
This is a great honour for him, The Mayo League and the Mayo Branch of the ISRS, and the FAI.
FAI Press Release:
DAMIEN MacGRAITH has been confirmed as one of the two assistant referees for the UEFA Under-21 Championships Final between Spain and Switzerland at Aarhus Stadium in Denmark on Saturday evening.
Mayo native MacGraith is one of the most highly respected assistants in the Airtricity League and he will work in a team led by Italian official Paulo Tagliavento in the final of the prestigious tournament.
MacGraith is a secondary school teacher at Scoil Mhuire agús Padraig in his native Mayo. He has risen to prominence since his graduation from the FAI's Referee School of Excellence in 2005 and has officiated at a number of high profile appointments including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and most recently in the EURO 2012 qualifiers where McGraith was part of the Irish delegation who took charge of the Group F clash between Latvia and Israel in Riga earlier this month.
"It is great to see Damien's hard work and dedication being recognized by UEFA with the appointments he has received in this major tournament," said FAI National Referee Coordinator James Finnegan.
"It is also a testament to the help and support given to Damien from his start in local Mayo football, the Referee Observers and Tutors at all levels who have helped guide and advise him as part of his ongoing coaching, and of course his friends and colleagues at the Elite level. Damien's success also shows the opportunities that may be available to anyone interested and committed to refereeing as part of the FAI Referee Development Plan."
The FAI's Referee School of Excellence has played a huge part in the development of Irish officials in recent years with a number of our officials being appointed to UEFA Championships qualifying matches and Europa League and Champions League games in recent years.
"Everybody involved in the League is delighted to hear of Damien's appointment to such a prestigious game," said Airtricity League director Fran Gavin.
"It is testament to the professionalism of the refereeing system we have in this country and it shows that there is a pathway to the highest in that side of the game as well as the playing side."
FAI Introduction to Goalkeeping Coach Education Course
The Football Association of Ireland are holding a FAI Introduction to Goalkeeping Coach Education Course in Milebush Park, Castlebar on Saturday September 17th from 9am to 5pm.
Participants must attend all modules of the course in order to qualify for certification. Course fee is €40. This course is limited to 30 participants so book early to avoid disappointment.
Participants must have completed Kickstart 1 to participate on this course.
Coaches will receive an FAI Introduction to Goalkeeping certificate of attendance as part of the National Coaching Development Programme.
For further course details and registration call Paul Byrne on 0868579678
Tom Kelly retires from Mayo League.
A new treasurer has been appointed by the Mayo League, following the retirement of Tom Kelly from the League Management committee. Tom is leaving the management committee of the Mayo League, due to personal and other commitments.
Tom Jennings will take over the position of treasurer.
Many tributes were paid to Tom at the Leagues last meeting of the 7th June."Mayo League"Chairman", said. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tom Kelly, most sincerely for his devoted service to our game over a long period of time and in his role as Chairman, and later as Treasurer of the Mayo League. Tom certainly played a significant part in the development of football in this county, as he was at the forefront of groundbreaking innovations, such as the formation of the Super League and indeed the transition into Summer Soccer.
He was a key member of the Milebush Park Development Company/committee and the fine stadium we have today, is a testament to the work of Tom and other dedicated workers. The Chairman stated that he wished him well in all his future football related endeavours."
The PRO of the Mayo League Pat Quigley also paid tribute to Tom Kelly, whom he worked with, on the Mayo League committee for the last 30 years. He had given outstanding service during that time, not alone to the game, but through his reporting in the Connaught Telegraph. As a young reporter, with the Connaught Telegraph, Tom immersed himself in the local game, whilst in the position of PRO for the League. He continued in that role for many years and in 1996, published his own book on the history of Mayo Football - " Boots, Rules & Fantasy Free. We are all indebted to Tom for the compiling the history of the game in Mayo, and for maintaining the records of the various winners of the competitions during that period.
During his period as Chairman of the League between 1998 and 2001, Tom was instrumental in setting up the Super League. The purpose for Tom was to raise the playing standard, by introducing Club Coaches, providing dressing rooms at club grounds, and maintaining a high standard of pitches, with a top class playing surface.
This is the accepted norm today, but back in 1998 these standards were not in place, and Tom was to the forefront in putting these ideas into place. In order to show his sincerity about the Super League, and to make the competition successful, Tom sponsored a new cup, which is known as the Tom Kelly Cup.
At the end of his Chairmanship of the Mayo League in 2001, Tom took over the role of Treasurer of the League. He introduced an accounting system that was open and transparent and swiftly turned a deficit in the accounts, to what we now see as a healthy state of affairs in the League. Tom was scrupulous in his dealing with the financial affairs of the League for the last ten years, and it is to his credit that the league transacted over € 3 million during this period in office, both in administration and the development of Milebush Park.
Tom, represented the Mayo League for many years, on the FAI Youth Council and for the last number of years as the League's representative to the FAI Junior Council.
Tom was also always very interested in underage football, and he was not found wanting in this area either, spending a number of hours each week coaching the underage teams in Castlebar Celtic.
It is hard to visualise the League without Tom, but I am happy to report that he will stay on as a Director and Company Secretary of the Mayo League Community Stadium Club Ltd, and no doubt, to give us his valuable experience in the further development of Milebush Park.
He has also intimated, that he may update the history of Mayo Football in the not to distant future. I look forward to reading same.
Needless to say the League will miss his input greatly and indeed so will I on a personal level, having worked together for over thirty years. While we have not lost him fully, I hope we will see him back again in the not too distant future.
Under 10 County Blitz
Clubs are asked to registered with Michael Fox firstname.lastname@example.org for
The Pat Moran U-10 blitz
Must be born on or after 2002
Date Saturday 16th July
Game 5 a side 2 subs
Cost €40 per team must be paid by Friday 8th July,
16 teams max.
Venue: Mile Bush Park
All players must be registered with the Mayo Youths League in order to play.
All Clubs must send list of players by 8th July
Clubs must be ready to start by 10 am 16th July
Winner /Runner up will enter The Donne Cup next year.
also Contact 087-6415569