Ulster Senior League holds successful AGM   04/07/2017

The Annual General Meeting of the Ulster Senior League was held on Monday, June 3, at the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny.

The outgoing Executive was returned unopposed to the top table for another season.

In the 2016/17 season Cockhill Celtic won the 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League and Donegal News Ulster Senior League Cup double for a fifth successive season.

“The League was very close this year. going to the last game of the season with Cockhill emerging as champions and Letterkenny Rovers as runners-up,” said Ulster Senior League Chairman Johnny McCafferty in his address.

“The standard in the League is very good with clubs putting in big efforts in regards to training and coaching. The support of the senior clubs, Finn Harps and Derry City, is very important as they add that extra competitive edge.

“The most important issue before us is how to grow the league and encourage more teams to participant at Intermediate level. Are there clubs out there with the ambition to give it a go?”

Mr McCafferty thanked the Referee’s Society, the Disciplinary Committee, Fixtures Secretary and Registrar Jason Gibson, PRO Chris McNulty and Treasurer Donal Coyle. Mr McCafferty thanked the various sponsors and had a special word of praise for the League Secretary, Niall Callaghan.

He added: “I am indebted to the members of the Executive for their work and diligence throughout the season.

“I wish to congratulate all our clubs, their management team and players for their participation and efforts over the season.”

Ulster Senior League Secretary Niall Callaghan said the League was in its second season back in winter football and had been ‘fortunate’ in relation to cancellations.

Mr Callaghan thanked the management and players who represented the League at the FAI Intermediate Interprovincial Tournament, the Referee’s Society and sponsors.

He said that the return of Finn Harps to the Ulster Senior League had been a big benefit.

“Since last years AGM, we have welcomed Finn Harps into our league, and their inclusion has been great,” Mr Callaghan said.

“We all knew that they were obvious club that would benefit for Intermediate football.”

Mr Callaghan added that League Executive members had recently traveled to meet senior FAI representatives.

He said: “We met with John Delaney and Fran Gavin in early May in relation to the retention of Intermediate football in the North West. It was a very productive meeting and the FAI are very anxious in having Intermediate football in all provinces of Ireland. 

“As of yet, we have had no concrete decisions or ideas from them, but correspondence has been on-going and as soon as we have dialogue, we will bring it to our clubs.”

Mr Callaghan added: “On the down side, I feel disappointed that there is a willingness by “keyboard warriors” to take to social media to lambaste the league and the running of the league, Because we have only 7 clubs, it seems that we are an easy target, but I suppose that is out of our control and we have to rise above it.”

Treasurer Donal Coyle delivered a breakdown of the League’s financial affairs and again ran a tight ship, with the USL showing a profit of €79.70 for the season.

USL Registrar Jason Gibson reported that there were 219 players registered in the 2016/17 season, his first in the position. There were 184 yellow cards and 15 red cards. 

He urged clubs to follow the lead of Letterkenny Rovers and Fanad United, whose registrations were of a very high standard and noted that there will be a meeting on July 20 next regarding a new, online system for registrations.

League PRO Chris McNulty urged clubs to get their respective houses in order in relation to the submission of match reports.

“Reports should not just be a box-ticking exercise, which it seems to be on some occasions,” he said.

“Some reports that have been submitted to me lately leave a lot to be desired."  

He added that the League and its members should focus on the positives: "I feel sometimes that not enough focus is placed upon the positives in the League and that the negatives can sometimes take over. 

"Something I have said at several executive and delegate meetings so far this season and I want to reiterate tonight to the record of the AGM: 'We have a good League, with good teams, good players and good managers. Let’s promote that.

“I feel that some are too hasty to rush into judgement and to heed ‘word on the street’ as opposed to the facts of the case in some instances.” 

He said the advent of the Player of the Month award and the ‘Eleven30’ selection had been good avenues for the Ulster Senior League to increase its publicity.


Chairman - Johnny McCafferty

Vice Chairman - Patrick McLaughlin

Secretary - Niall Callaghan

Assistant Secretary - Mark Duffy

Treasurer - Donal Coyle

Registrar - Jason Gibson

PRO - Chris McNulty