A small but dedicated attendance at Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, on Thursday evening last for the re-launch of Club Kildare, the fund-raising arm of Kildare GAA Co. Board.
Co. Chariman John McMahon stressed the vital role Club Kildare have played and continues to play saying they “had contributed seriously to the county board and had taken the burden of fund-raising away from the county board.
Mr. McMahon added that due to the serious situation that the county board now finds itself in now, it must look further afield for various new ways and means of fund-raising and not just to Club Kildare. “We are looking to you, each and every one of you to come up with new and imaginative ways of fund raising.”
The Co. Board Chairman mentioned the recently opened Cill Dara Shop in Newbridge, as an example, stating that the shop is proving extremely beneficial.
Pat Mangan, Chairman of Club Kildare spoke of how the Kildare Supporters Club was formed back in 1991 under the late Michael Osobrne, stressting the Club Kildare is simply a follow on from the original Supporters Club.
Club Kildare has two aims, Mr. Mangan stressed. “Supporting our county teams, ensuring our players and managers have the necessary support and back-up they require and to provide the necessary funding to support our various youth programmes.”
Pat stressed that it was absolutely imperative for more people to come on board. “It is vital we get more people to join Club Kildare and I am urging each one here to go and encourage more to join us.”
Padraig McManus who is a member of a small group who have been looking at various means of fund raising was the next one to address the gathering.
The Naas man who just recently retired as boss of the ESB, told the meeting that from his experience many Kildare supporters and people in general are angry when they hear that Kildare GAA finances are in such a poor state. “They are angry and just don’t like the fact that we (Kildare GAA) seem incapable of managing our own finances and our own business”.
That said Padraig is an opportunity for us and one we should work that to our advantage. It is an opportunity for us to get our friends and colleagues to come on board and lend a hand stressing that the small committee of himself Paddy Kelly (Tegral) and Charlie McCreevy are seeking ways and means to help get Kildare out of the financial problems we are in at the minute, adding “we will do what we can as a group and as individuals to help get the books balanced.
“We’re taking to the converteed here but we must get out there get our message across, get more on board and together we can solve the problems we find ourselves in” added Mr. McManus.
The final speaker of the night was Kieran McGeeney and he too acknowledged that the speakers at the gathering were indeed talking to the converted.
“But that is the best place to start insisted Kieran. If I want something from my players I go to the converted, to Johnny (Doyle) to Dermot (Earley) and a few others because I know if they raise the bar the rest will follow and that is how it is here tonight. We need to raise the bar here and if we do that the rest will follow, so it is highly important that you people are here, you are the ones that are doing the work and your are the ones that will raise the bar and the rest will follow.”
Stressing that his philosophy regards to football is that everyone must be working together and that is exactly as it should be and as it has to be. The exact same applies to the problems that Kildare have at the minute.
“Like in a football squad if anyone is trying to undermine a fellow player you are going no where, the same applies here. It is vitally important that we all work together and that is the message I would like to stress here tonight. We either work together each and everyone of us or we don’t; when a team works tegether there is nothing that can bring it down, absolutely nothing, the same rules apply to the situation that Kildare finds itself in at present, together we can and will succeed.”