The Saffron Gael

Football now takes centre stage

The first four weeks of club hurling are behind us now, and so its time for the club footballers to show their skills. The league campaign in all four divisions gets underway tomorrow night, and what a packed programme it is. In Division 1 League champions Cargin are at home to new boys Glenavy with an 8pm throw-in, but the action gets underway at 7 a Corrigan Park when St John’s host their Belfast rivals St Gall’s. At 7-15 Rossa take on St Teresa’s at Shaw’s Road in another all Beflast affair while up in Hannahstown county champions Lamh Dhearg play hosts to Casements, Portglenone, that one also throwing in at 7-15. Elswhere in the division Aghagallon take on Creggan with an 8pm start, while Ahoghill are at home to newly promoted St Enda’s at the same time.

There are a full programme of games in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 so get out and support your club. All we need now is a bit of decent weather. Bara Best has been telling us it is on its way, but no real sign of it yet.

DONATE NOWDonate

Sponsorship opportunity

As we now enter our eighth month of Saffron Gael, and with the new county season now in full swing, we invite potential sponsors to get on board to keep this project running.

We are looking for support from like-minded Antrim fans who will contribute to facilitate the continuation of the comprehensive reporting currently being carried out. Since its inception last June the Saffron Gael has already acquired over 2,000 Facebook followers which is growing by the day and the site itself is averaging between 4,550 and 5,000 views on match days. All money donated will facilitate the growth of match coverage.

Saffron Gael Friends Opportunities & Benefits ·

Your Organisation’s logo will appear on the members page of the website ·

Organisation logo will include a hyperlink to website ·

Access to imagery taken at all covered games

Cost: £500 Per anum Please note: This payment can be made via Standing Order monthly. For more details please contact john.mcilwaine@yahoo.co.uk or ptrckmclwn@yahoo.co.uk give us a call on 07885226348 or 07511111378

For those who feel they are not in a position to avail of the Saffron Gael Friends offer we are also looking for sponsors for our match reports. With the new season under way we have been busy covering all Antrim hurling and football games to date, we have covered the St. Paul’s Ulster minor football tournament and will bring you coverage of all the games at the Creggan Kickham’s Bank of Ireland-Paddy McLarnon U21 football tournament which starts on the 13th January. We have also previewed these games and hope to continue as Antrim’s National football and hurling leagues get under way at the end of the month. Last season we carried reports and photographs of the majority of ACF League and ACH League games and covered every hurling and football championship game played in Antrim and followed the winners of those championships on their Ulster journey. With so many important games to be played in the season ahead we are gearing the adverts towards the participating clubs for the nominal fee of £50 a game, so for example if Cargin were playing Creggan in football or Dunloy were facing Loughgiel in the hurling there will be the opportunity for two businesses from each area to take an advert which will run with the match report.

As you may gather such coverage is time consuming and involves quite a large team of photographers and reporters which in turn incurs expense. We are extremely grateful to clubs who have made donations to the Saffron Gael to date and would encourage all clubs who have not done so to make a donation. This will enable us to continue our extensive coverage in the coming season.

Good luck to all players, clubs and to our county in 2018 and we will hopefully see you at one of your games in the coming weeks.

Here are a couple of samples below –

Fry’s Road Spart advert

Carey Faughs advert

We do not want to put the sites content behind a ‘pay wall’ and feel it should be kept available to all GAA fans in the county and beyond. However we would appeal to those regular readers to contribute to the project by simply donating as little as £5 per month through the PayPal donate button. That works out at £1.25 per week which we feel is very good value for money, considering the amount of coverage of our games that are available on the site. If you feel your club is not getting the coverage it deserves I would appeal to you to get in touch with your club PRO and ask them to get on board with this project. We endeavour to cover as many games as possible but it is not possible to get around them all so we welcome any content that is sent to us.