St Joseph’s FC Athlone

Founded 1998

Co. Roscommon

Chairman's Welcome Season 21/22

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Dear Parents & Guardians,

On behalf of all at St Joseph’s Football Club I would like to extend a warm welcome to both new and returning players for the 2021/2022 season. After two seasons impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic we are hopeful of a full, uninterrupted season ahead of us and one that offers a fun and competitive environment for the ongoing enjoyment and development of all players.

The club remains committed to protecting the health and safety of players, parents and guardians as we navigate the latest phase of the pandemic response and will follow the latest edition of the FAI ‘Safer Return to Training & Play’ protocol – which can be found here*. In line with recent Government announcements, it is anticipated that we will soon transition away from rules and regulation to an approach of personal responsibility and your support will be vital in managing this transition. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your team coach or the club secretary.

We are delighted with the number of young players that have returned to training and playing action. The numbers are very healthy across all age groups from U6 to U14, and the club currently cater for around 300 children from the local community. I would like to give a massive thanks to all our coaches, managers and volunteers for the commitment and dedication that they give week after week. Without their efforts the club would be unable to field so many underage teams and cater for such a large cohort of players. We are always looking for additional help and have several volunteer gaps across various age groups. It is very important that we have a good coach to player ratio, both for the safety and the development of the children. This is particularly important for the younger age groups who need more focused attention. Please reach out to your child’s team coaches or any committee member to see how you can help.

For the season ahead we will continue to use the ClubZap app which proved to be a very valuable addition last year (https://clubzap.com/download). The app is used for club and team communications, player and member registrations and for making online payments.

I would encourage all parents to complete registration for their child as soon as possible. No child will be allowed play in the league until they have completed the on-line registration and payment. This is a league requirement and not within the control of the club.

The approach to collection of training fees will continue as per last season which saw a move to online payments to eliminate the need to collect and handle large quantities of coins. There will be a two staged payment approach for each child as follows:

Payment 1 is due on or before 1st Nov 2021 and Payment 2 is due on or before 1st Feb 2022 and each payment is set out below;

U6 – U9 €30

U10 – U14 €45

The fees for the older age groups also incorporates referee fees. For every age group, this payment approach represents a saving to all households relative to the previous cash collection approach at each training session. Training fee payments will be made on-line through ClubZap under Club Shop or through the club website (www.sjfc.ie). St Joseph’s FC, as a club, do not own any of our training or playing facilities and must pay rental costs for the use of Cushla and other facilities. The collection of the training and referee fees helps cover these costs and is vital for the continuing financial viability of the club.

I would like to acknowledge the members of the club committee who give significant time and energy to ensure the smooth running of the club and to offer my sincere thanks to them for their efforts and commitment and for the service they provide the local community. The last two years have been a particular challenge, but we hope to get back to a bit of normality this season and with some luck may even be able to add a social event or two to the calendar of football events. As always, should you have any questions, concerns or issues that you wish to raise feel free to contact any member of the committee. Contact details are available on the St Joseph’s FC website (www.sjfc.ie).

Finally, I would like to thank all the players that represent the club so well each week and I wish them the very best for the season ahead.

Yours in Sport,

Stephen Flynn

Club Chairman

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