West Put Gaels GFC~ Setanta GFC
2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the West Put Gaels Gaelic Football Club. In 1975, founding members Brendan Hynes, Pat Higgins and Mike Griffin were joined by Terry Greenan, Paul O’Sullivan, Peter Brennan, Owen Farrell and Oliver Doyle, to form the early Board of Officers. Brendan Hynes served as the first president of the West Put Gaels, as a Gaelic football club to serve the Westchester and Putnam Counties was established. For four decades the West Put Gaels enjoyed successes in all age groups, most notably with a Minor Championship win in 1984 and a Junior Championship title in 1995. Numerous West Put players have been selected for New York All-Star Teams. The late Bryan Higgins captained the NY Minor squad in 1985. We can celebrate West Put’s proud and storied history within the ranks of the New York Gaelic Athletic Association, having provided All-Star players and dedicated delegates to both the New York Minor and Senior Boards alike. Gaelic Football has flourished in this area due to the effort and commitment of many people, who selflessly gave their time to the preservation of our Gaelic sports.
In April 2008, John Myers, Gerald Padian, Mike Drude and Mark Flanagan organized and acted on their goal, which was to establish a Gaelic Football Club that would introduce the sport to the children of Northern Westchester. In Katonah, NY, they formed Setanta Gaelic Football Club. Aptly, Setanta was the childhood name of the mythical figure Cuchulainn. Initially, Setanta fielded u8 and u10 teams. However, through the support of the local communities, they were soon able to establish U12 and U14 teams also. Since their inception, the dedicated officers of Setanta GFC have committed their time, energy and efforts to provide Gaelic Football as a healthy pastime for the boys and girls of this area.
In 2011, West Put Gaels GFC and Setanta GFC merged to become WestPut Setanta. Since then the club has gone from strength to strength. WestPut Setanta won the U12 and U14 B Championships in 2013, and again claimed the U14 title in 2014. Indeed, in the fall of 2014, they reached the Championship Finals in the U10, U12 and U14 age groups.
2014 brought another first, when WestPut Setanta entered U8 and U10 girls teams in a Gaelic for Girls Tournament. Perhaps some of these young ladies will follow in the footsteps of former West Put Gael Caitlin Hynes, who represented New York in the 2014 All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Final.
In the summer of 2014, the club competed in the 10th Annual Continental Youth Championships in Randall’s Island, NY. Over fifty children on U8, U10, U12 and U14 teams, proudly represented WestPut Setanta. This July, the teams will travel to San Francisco to again be part of the largest youth Gaelic Football competition outside of Ireland.
WestPut Setanta is looking forward to the 2015 season, as the number of children in Westchester and Putnam Counties who embrace this sport continues to grow. In 1987 the West Put Gaels added a Junior team to provide an outlet for their underage players to continue playing. This year WestPut Setanta will expand to enter an Under-16 team, thus ensuring that the present day players can also have the opportunity to stay involved with the wonderful game that is Gaelic Football.