Looking into 2010, Louth's Minor Board Chairman, Brendan Carthy is 'optimistic' about the future of Louth GAA.
The Roche Emmets man was returned to the position of Chairman at the end of the Minor Board AGM, which was held in the Darver Centre of Excellence on Thursday.
Defeating former Minor Board Chairman Michael McKeown (Annaghminnon Rovers) by 51 votes to 39, Carthy was returned for his third consecutive stint in the position.
In the only other election on the night, Mattock Rangers' Sean Reid was returned as Vice-Chairman when he defeated Tmas O'hEochaidh, Oliver Plunketts. John Grogan automatically returned as Vice-Chairman also when challenger Gerry O'Reilly, St Mochta's withdrew his nomination.
After the election, Carthy admitted that he was optimistic about a number of things in 2011, such as the future of gSprt in the County, the Louth Minor team and the continuation of the Damien Reid Regional Competition.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat about the election, Carthy said: "It is good to see these positions being contested as it shows that there is interest in them and to be elected back shows good faith that the other delegates have in me."
He then outlined the aims for the board in 2011 with gSprt top of list as regards progress.
"The main aim for us is that we want to build on what we have done over the last four years, in particular, gSprt. Last year was a brilliant time for gSprt in the county. Participation rates were so high, we couldn't have dreamt of the numbers we go.
"Unfortunately, as a result of this, we struggled during the year due to the increase in numbers. Our challenge next year is to administrate it properly and efficiently incase we get the same type of numbers that we received last year.
"We hope to get the quality right next year and make use of our administration and coaching resources. We have to make sure that the participants are getting the right and highest level of coaching possible."
One success that Carthy did point to in 2010 was the Damien Reid Regional Competitions 2010, which generated interest in all quarters in the county. Such was the success of the scheme at under-age level, a similar typed structure is being introduced at Senior level next year which will see North, South, East and West Louth teams battling it out. The aim of the competition is to give players a chance to improve by playing alongside people who are on a similar level as them, something Carthy agrees with.
"The regional competitions in my eyes make perfect sense. For one, I think it is important that your best players are playing in regional competitions. Our competitions are split into different areas, such as clubs, regional squads, development squads and college or vocational squads. If a talented player is part of a club who are not very strong, then something like a regional competition gives him the chance to play alongside better players, something that will improve his game and make him a better player."
Carthy also said that the success of the tournament meant that a lot of players, who has turned down the chance to play with development teams, soon changed their minds and were welcomed back into the fold.
"The best available players then are playing with regional squads and that is something we have to keep doing.
"Last year, through the regional competition we got players back to development squads because they enjoyed the more competitive aspect of the regional competition. It's definitely the way forward.
"I spend a lot of time looking at how rugby structure their competitions at underage level and they have a clear path defined and how they get the best out of players from these structured pathways.
The appointment of Thomas McNamee as the Louth Minor team manager is something that Carthy is excited about. The Chairman said that he is optimistic about the team's chances this year, though he does so without placing pressure upon McNamee's shoulders. After seeing St Joseph's lift the Minor Championship for the second year running, McNamee was named as the new manager for the Louth Minor team and was handed a three year term, something Carthy is delighted with.
"I am optimistic. I don't want any pressure put on Thomas as our record over the past number of years in Minor football has not been very good. But his appointment, especially for a three year term is crucial as really does help a manager. Our previous managers had it a bit tough with 12-month appointment.
"Thomas has been very busy since taking up the role. He's a brilliant track record. He's a great motivator and he's highly organised so we are all looking forward to the next year."
Finally, Carthy, who had more than a helping hand in the Darver Centre of Excellence during his time on the Darver Project Committee paid tribute to the centre for the benefits that it will give young players in the future.
"We have a facility
that is the envy
of everyone in the country and it coming at the right time for us."