SUNDAY will be an historic occasion for the Gaels in the adjoining parishes of Ardstraw West and Ardstraw East when new club Naomh Eoghan make their competitive debut in ACL Division Two.
Founded following the merger of Newtownstewart St Eugene’s and Dregish Pearse Ogs last November, the club’s senior team set out on their league campaign with an away trip to the Rock.
With lack of numbers an increasing issue for the Pearse Ogs in recent years, an amalgamation was the only feasible option to maintain a vibrant GAA presence in the area, and the new club took its name after Naomh Eoghan, the parish patron saint.
Glenullin man Michael O’Kane is managing senior team affairs during this now condensed league season and he has been impressed with the camaraderie he has witnessed since the amalgamation.
“It has probably been different for me because I didn’t know anything else from before about the two teams. I’m coming in fresh to manage the lads who are there, so the fact that it’s bringing together lads from different clubs doesn’t mean anything to me.
“I hadn’t managed them as separate clubs before so it’s just been like any other club for me. The players all get on very well, there hasn’t been one bad word or anyone turning on the other.
“When lads are out by themselves kicking about you don’t see any separation, the boys have come together fairly well. The clubs were close geographically so the players would all have known each other. That probably helps.”
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