The historic 40th annual general meeting of the North East Football League (MDL) took place tonight at the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan.
The gathering was historic in the sense that it heralded the first calendar year season which is scheduled to kick-off on weekend 24th March.
The closing date for entry for the new season is Saturday 24th February with an affiliation fee of €400 for the first team and €5 per player which must be through FAI Net.
The change in season was sanctioned at last year's (39th) annual meeting after a number of unsuccessful previous attempts to change the playing season to all activity taking place within a calendar year.
A shortened season was completed in 2018 with league titles decided on a one-round basis and teams that were knocked out of the Challenge Cup then competed in the Kilmessan Shield which was played as a subsidiary competition.
That was a once-off and the Kilmessan Shield will revert to its normal status for the forthcoming season.
Secretary Gerry Gorman thanked all the clubs for their co-operation in the short 2018 season and explained his brief report.
“The transition from mainstream season to our forthcoming calendar year campaign necessitated an earlier AGM for 2019, just slightly more than eight months after the 2018 equivalent,” he stated.
“As a result, due to the lack of available time to devote to compiling a substantial reflection since June 2018, my annual report shall contain details of affiliations and the updated honours list.
“We will have to be diligent for the new season and be prepared to deal with any issues that arise,” he added.
Fixtures secretary Declan Jordan tahnked all the clubs and all the officials for their co-operation in the short season.
“The historic vote to change to calendar season football at last year’s AGM was a huge turning point for junior football in the North East,” stated Jordan.
“The resultant change-over period was always going to be a challenge.
“The approach to last season was key to our successful season and the structure I thought really helped and kept many teams interested and having something to play for.
“I would like to congratulate all the winners.
“I would like to thank the referees from our three branches of ISRS Cavan / Monaghan, Louth and Meath for their dedication all season.
“We have been very fortunate over the past few seasons that we have such a large panel of referees that service our league,” he added.
There were a number of motions discussed with Boyne Harps proposing that NEFL fixtures should get priority over provincial (LFA) and national (FAI) competitions and that a schedule of fixtures for the season should be produced.
The Boyne Harps motions were unsuccessful although a proposal to reward the winning team in each division with free registration the following season was only narrowly defeated.
Motions from the NEFL to regionalise Div 3, Div 4 and the Reserve Leagues were successful with Donal Lynch of Rock Celtic urging delegates to support the proposals.
Officers going forward for the committee (to be finalised at first committee meeting) - David Tully, John Gorman, Gerry Gorman, Declan Jordan,Tommy Melia,Damien Smith, Derek Coogan, Steve Laverty, Eugene Lynch, Danny Doyle, Stephen McCabe, Mark McGuinness, Damien Clarke, Brian McCreary.
There was one new nomination for the committee: Anthony Matthews (Newfoundwell) who was duly elected.
The 2018 ROLL OF HONOUR
Kilmessan Shield – Parkvilla (runner-up Enfield Celtic)
Gerry Reilly Cup – Parkvilla 2nds (Bellurgan utd 2nds)
Reserve Cup – Trim Celtic (Drogheda Town)
Tully Bookmakers Challenge Cup – Muirhevnamor (Trim Celtic)
Over 35s Cup - Woodview Celtic (Rock Celtic)
Over 35s – Rock Celtic, (Doolargey All Stars)
Premier B Reserve – Virginia Celtic, (Donacarney Celtic)
Premier A Reserve – Parkvilla, (Hazel Lane)
Premier Reserve – Trim Celtic, (Boyne Harps)
Division 4 – Millmount Celtic, (Bohermeen Celtic)
Division 3 – Newtown Utd (Donacarney)
Division 2 – Bay FC (Redeemer Celtic)
Division 1 – Parkvilla (Square Utd)
Premier – Boyne Harps (Muirhevnamor)
The FAI issued a directive in relation to discipline - an assault on a referee in a NEFL game the disciplinary issues arising out of that will be dealt with by the FAI.