Boosted by a now-infamous Twitter account promoting their every exploit and notable sporting successes last season, it’s safe to say that the profile of GAA at Trinity has rarely been higher. In an email conversation with The University Times, the Chairperson of Dublin University Gaelic Football Club (DUGFC), Bryan Mallon, was bullish about the club’s prospects:
“Overall, Trinity GAA is improving at an unprecedented rate. In terms of men’s football, last year our freshers won the All Ireland Division 2 Title at a canter, securing our first ever freshers title and our second team managed to reach the knockout stages of the All Ireland League despite only just being promoted. Our senior team maintained our Division 1 status in both the league and the championship. With these obvious signs of progress, especially considering the level of talent from the all Ireland freshers winning team, we can expect even more next year.”
The quality is also there, with almost a full panel of players able to boast of their county credentials. Expectations are rising around this talented crop, and the goal for the year is to push on for promotion: “Never have we had a team made up almost completely of county players. The aim will be to retain our freshers title, if we haven’t been promoted. The second team will be adamant about winning an All Ireland League and Leinster Championship double, something which is very much achievable having come so close over the last two years. Our seniors will be pushing to challenge for the league knockout stages and win our first Sigerson (Division 1 Championship) match in a long time”.
The Sigerson Cup represents the sharp end of college GAA, the pinnacle of achievement for most footballers and by far the most prestigious competition outside of county championships. Some of the players lining out in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon may have had their first taste of success in the Sigerson. But it’s not all about trophies and league tables, as Mallon is keenly aware that the success or failure of a sports club depends greatly on the sense of community it fosters amongst its players: “One thing that is very important to us this year, as the club is growing at an exponential rate almost, is the establishment of a social team. This will act as a stepping stone to hopefully having a competitive 3rd team entered into the league next year.”
“Our club has one of the largest memberships in Trinity Sport and we must cater for everyone. The GAA has never just been about the players who play. It’s about the whole community, about everyone getting involved in some way or another. Some of our most important club members are non-players, and we want more of that”, he continues.
Targeting an active presence on social media has proven a wise move in the past, and it’s especially important over Freshers’ Week, when potential players will be weighing up whether they should stick to their club commitments or get involved in the college scene.
Training takes place in the Santry Sports Ground for Men’s and Women’s teams on Monday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm and on Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm.