Mayo club Conn Rangers recently launched a #MyLOI initiative in a bid to encourage their young players to become more familiar with the SSE Airtricity League. Conn Rangers are based just outside Ballina and have teams for every age group, girls and
Mayo club Conn Rangers recently launched a #MyLOI initiative in a bid to encourage their young players to become more familiar with the SSE Airtricity League.
Conn Rangers are based just outside Ballina and have teams for every age group, girls and boys with 350 members. COVID-19 put their 50th Anniversary celebrations on ice but the club continue to lead the way in their community.
The club hosted a fun day to showcase the initiative and it was supported by SSE Airtricity with appearances from Micheál Murphy (Galway United Community Officer), Conor O'Grady (Sligo Rovers Academy Manager), Micheál Schlingermann (Athlone Town), Alva Munnelly (Galway WFC) and Galway United's mascot Terry the Tiger was also on hand to join in on the action.
Sean O'Sullivan (Public Relations Officer) and Mark Togher (Coaching Director) came up with the #MyLOI initiative in a bid to see more LOI representation throughout the club. In a bid to change this, Sean wrote to the SSE Airtricity League clubs and was overwhelmed by the support in their bid to promote the domestic game.
Speaking at a recent fun day to mark the initiative, O'Sullivan was thrilled to see the response. "Some clubs got involved straight away and then UMBRO got involved and it built momentum from there.
"We now have 30 to 40 jerseys and they go out to the kids who train in their various LOI jerseys and become familiar with the clubs. Down the road the idea is to bring them to games, be it up to Sligo Rovers or down to Galway," O'Sullivan said.
Sligo Rovers were one of the many clubs to lend their support and speaking at the event, Sligo Academy Manager Conor O'Grady was delighted to see the initiative in action. "It's great to see the kids in all the different League of Ireland jerseys and if we can get kids to familiarise themselves with our league and get them to The Showgrounds, Athlone or Eamonn Deacy Park, it's a good thing for the league all round.
"The EA SPORTS underage leagues have opened up the club in these regions and has given us the chance to broaden our brand," O'Grady added.
League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon was full of praise for the Mayo club's #MyLOI campaign. “Developing stronger links between Grassroots clubs and the League of Ireland is crucial for the long term development of Irish football on and off the pitch and I want to commend Conn Rangers for setting-up this initiative.
"It was wonderful to see the young kids wearing League of Ireland jerseys and we look forward to seeing players from Conn Rangers and all of our Grassroots clubs attending League of Ireland games over the coming months," added Scanlon.