November 7th, 2023

The GAA in Warwickshire, in association with the Provincial Council of Britain, is delighted to announce that Seánie Boyle has been appointed Community Development Administrator (CDA) to oversee the continued progression of Gaelic Games in the Midlands of England.

With our previous CDA, Dermot Thornton, completing a successful time in the role this year, we welcome Seánie as he aims to build on the foundations set by Dermot over what proved a difficult time for the development of Gaelic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seánie returns to Warwickshire bringing with him a wealth of experience of Gaelic Games in this part of the world, having been an integral part of both the Warwickshire inter-county side that won the All-Britain Football Championship in 2021 alongside his club commitments with Roger Casement’s helping the Coventry club to the Senior Football Championship in 2022. We sat down with the Donegal native to discuss his intentions as he takes on the CDA role:


Welcome back Seánie, with the role of CDA becoming available here in Warwickshire what attracted you to the role?

It’s good to be back Anthony. Having taken a year away from the UK in 2023, I kept busy, spending the time with my home club Kilcar and continued playing and coaching. Unfortunately, the playing side didn’t go as planned, as we bowed out at the county quarter-final stage beaten by a well drilled Naomh Conaill side. I had continued coaching by managing the Kilcar Minors, a year which had no silverware but where we could still view the season as a success. A team, who in our first training session had just twelve players, we thankfully managed to get three more to join the panel and caught really good momentum which made the year extremely enjoyable for the squad, playing fifteen games and getting ten results falling narrowly short in the county semi-final. I hope to see them continue with their development and go a step further in 2024.

While both playing and coaching at home was extremely enjoyable, it was also incredibly taxing mentally and physically, as I tried to balance a developing career and social life on top of the playing and coaching commitments. So, when a full-time position within the GAA becomes available and you feel you have the credentials to apply, it was a no brainier for me to look at a return to Warwickshire. I was delighted to secure the job and the various roles and responsibilities of the position allow me to fully focus on coaching and upskilling coaches and GAA clubs around me, an area I am extremely passionate about, as well as continuing my playing career, so it was the perfect fit.

To make it even more appealing, the role is for a county I owe a lot to, both Warwickshire and Roger Casement’s were very welcoming to me in my two seasons here previously and so I hope to repay everyone with a successful tenure in the role. The Juvenile section of Warwickshire GAA have also started the decade with fantastic levels of success across various age grades and with the new, state of the art facilities in Páirc na hÉireann well underway, it has all the ingredients for continued progression and achievement – the sky is the limit for our county-wide development. I am delighted and very much look forward to being a key part of that.

You’re no stranger to the GAA in Warwickshire, what have been your abiding memories so far in both your time with Casement’s and with Warwickshire itself?

From a personal point of view winning the Warwickshire Senior Club Championship in 2022 with Roger Casement’s, first time in seventeen years against a phenomenal Sean McDermott’s team who were unbelievable champions (and who had beat us so convincingly in the 2021 final) is a stand-out highlight. The comprehensive defeat Casement’s took in ‘21 had given me and the rest of the squad an eye opener. We had to step up as players and it was an unbelievable feeling to finally get over the line for the club and its supporters – it was a weekend of celebrations I’ll never forget. For me also, it was nice to win it with two of the club’s minor players from 2021 that I had coached prior to their All-Britain Final run – to see them a year later put in a big performance and grab a county senior medal was special and shows what investing in underage structures can bring to clubs in the county.

In 2021 I was part of the Warwickshire side that won its first All-Britain title in sixteen years. It has been a fantastic start to the decade too for the county at senior level and it was brilliant to be a part of it, beating London in Ruislip in the replay was the icing on the cake. It was great to work under fellow Donegal man Charlie O’Donnell and his management team who adopted a very different approach and methodical style of football to what I was used to in Kilcar, but I loved every minute of it.

Looking ahead to your role as our CDA, what are your initial thoughts about how you can improve the landscape of Gaelic Games in the Midlands of England?

My main aim will be to empower as many children as possible within the county to want to play for their clubs and county. I am in an extremely privileged position with the developing infrastructure and previous successes to build on; as mentioned, we currently have brand-new, state of the art facilities underway at Páirc na hÉireann, the finest on this side of the Irish Sea and we also have the current All-Britain champions in the county senior side. So, I will look to bring as many underage players to future club and inter-county championship fixtures that take place in Páirc na hÉireann through initiatives such as ‘Half-Time Blitzes’ and ‘Bring a Ball: Half-Time Kickaround’ – that way, our next generation of players can see a pathway to senior football in the county.

Dermot Thornton has undertaken some unbelievable work in the county at primary schools and underage blitz level and I will be taking the approach “If it’s not broke don’t try and fix it”, continuing to build on his work and the foundations he has laid, striving to improve GAA in the county at this level will be key.

I aim to work extremely closely with our county underage squads and develop as many future Warwickshire senior players as possible, whilst also having players return to their clubs with a higher level of skills and improve their standards on and off the field. While success will be based on development rather than trophies, we will aim to go toe to toe with all counties in Britain and also be hugely competitive in our travels to Ireland.

I aim to support what I believe in particular to be a sleeping giant in the county, by developing and guiding our club underage structures in the East Midlands, particularly supporting underage coaches to progress players successfully through the juvenile to adult ranks, which ultimately will see more Intermediate clubs look to make that break through to the Senior grade in the county in the future.

And looking further ahead, what goals are you looking to achieve on a wider context as CDA?

I look to significantly improve our county underage squads and have a link between our county minors and county senior side. To do this, I hope to have as many Warwickshire senior players on management teams of our underage sides for 2024, again showing our development squad players the pathway to senior grading and also improving their overall playing standards.

I want to improve on our senior clubs’ brilliant work and provide support where needed; some of our clubs recent success at the underage ABCs tournament has been extraordinary – I hope to continue to build on this by making it a regular occurrence to offer training and courses in upskilling coaches in both the educational and practical/hands-on approaches.

A massive age of dropout throughout the whole of the GAA is between the age group of 17–21 years. I hope to work with our fixtures committee on the new calendar for our U21 season to make it more vibrant and competitive for our clubs to participate and hope this can contribute to reducing the level of dropout.

Finally, working closely on building sustainable, underage structures for our Intermediate clubs, I believe will be a key ingredient for the county to keep growing at its recent, successful rate and take Warwickshire GAA to the next level.

Most importantly, for everyone who is reading this what is the best way that they can get in touch with you – be that clubs, parents, mentors?

My last two seasons in Warwickshire, I spent almost every weekend around Páirc na hÉireann! I can imagine this season won’t be any different so feel free to come up for a chat. I am also on all platforms of social media, but for now the best bet is:

Mobile – 00353 874638571

I look forward to hearing from, and working together, with you all!


7 November 2023
Anthony McLaughlin, Warwickshire PRO