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Friday 20 October 2017

Good old-fashioned fun for old and young

KNOCK the head off Thierry Henri, win a signed Kevin Doyle jersey, guess the number of balloons in a vintage car or sell off your clutter in a car boot sale at a Fun Day in the All-Blacks AFC grounds in Big Barn, Mayglass on Saturday, September 25.

The fundraising and club promotion event will begin in Casey Park at 2 p.m. although anyone who wants to be involved in the car boot sale should get there about an hour earlier to set up.

Visitors can look forward to old-fashioned fun with fishing and golf games, bouncy castle, face-painting, penalty shooting, a cross-ball challenge, soccer matches, spongethrowing, a bottle stall, cake stall, a barbecue and a buzzer game.

The club has set up a Thierry Henri game inviting people to kick a football with the aim of knocking the controversial French player's head off a stand.

An Ireland jersey donated and signed by the Wexfordborn international footballer Kevin Doyle will be raffled.

All money raised during the afternoon will go towards improving the grounds of the club, which was founded in Tomhaggard in 1961 in a field kindly provided by Jim Devereux.

After a few moves, the club bought its own land in 1997 and built a beautiful clubhouse that was officially opened by the former Ireland manager Brian Kerr in 2003.

One of the founder members Frank McGrath is the current President of the club and is still very active in its affairs 41 years later.

The club facilities include two full pitches, an under10 pitch and an all-weather pitch for training during the winter.

The club currently caters for 11 teams from under-8 to junior level involving a total of about 170 young players including under-10, under-12 and senior girls' teams. Members are drawn from all over the surrounding area including Kilmore, Ballymore, Mayglass and Our Lady's Island.

Over the past 10 years, three underage players David Murphy, Conor Sinnott and Paul Murphy have lined out for Ireland. Their Ireland jerseys have pride of place on the wall of the clubhouse and can be viewed during the field day.

The All-Blacks are blessed with the support of a large contingent of loyal fans including many former players. This was very evident when the men's 'B' team played in the final of the Billy Browne Cup last year when a large crowd turned out to support the team. This fantastic support also ensures the success of the club's Lotto which is the main means of fundraising.

To get to Big Barn from Wexford town, take the Kilmore turn off the Rosslare Road; turn right at Ballycogley, straight over at the next crossroads where the clubhouse is on the left hand side.

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