Youth Movement
 Gamers: Eamon, Andrew, Conor, Cameron and Liam

Gamers: Eamon, Andrew, Conor, Cameron and Liam

AS THE SUMMER HAS WORN ON, OUR CLUB HAS BEEN INJECTED WITH SOMETHING INFINITELY BETTER THAN ANY PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUG: YOUTH. 

For the past few weeks, we've been lucky enough to have kids hanging out on the pitch—learning the great game and thriving. It has been a blast to see their first tentative moves transform into a little swagger as the matches have unfurled. (Their timing is perfect, since they'll have a league of their own this fall with the launch of the Fairfax Police Youth Club division of Irish football.) 

In the meantime, these new boys of summer can roam the pitch with the big dudes and dudettes...and remind us why we play games, especially this one, in the first place. 

We had another fine match last Thursday, as documented below by our friend, photographer Gary Dize. As always, Gary, we appreciate your talent, and we salute your efforts. 

Michael McCarthy
Something About Mary
 Mary McPherson defending David Skinner (he has no chance, right?) 

Mary McPherson defending David Skinner (he has no chance, right?) 

When most people come out to play with us, they usually never leave. But Mary McPherson did. 

Her reason was solid: She has spent the past year teaching in India. (OK, we'll accept this excuse.)

Anyway, last week we got to hang with Mary again during her summer respite. She arrived toting Gaelic football trading cards (who knew?), and once she stepped onto the pitch at Van Dyck Park, it was clear she hasn't lost the edge in her game. She's been playing for a long time (most recently for Baltimore GAA), and it shows. 

But more than anything, it was great to have Mary's smile and laugh back in our lives. 

Here's to the prodigal daughters among us, and here's to Mary. 

(It was another great summer-weeknight turnout! Thanks to GARY DIZE for these tremendous images. We've said it before, but it's worth mentioning again: You da man, Gary.) 

Michael McCarthy
Summer Matches: A Big, Fat Success
 James (foreground) covered by Wonder Kid, Tim Sabene

James (foreground) covered by Wonder Kid, Tim Sabene

We'd never done this before. Play during the summer, that is.

During the four years and eight seasons this club has been around, summer just seemed like a humid afterthought. This isn't Dublin; this is the Amazon on the Potomac. 

But cooler heads prevailed in late spring, and a few people suggested that playing late in the day on WEEKNIGHTS (say, either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the weather) might work perfectly. 

It has. The crowds have been great. The level of play has been strong. And those late-day shadows bleed onto and cover the entire pitch by the time we start at 7:30. 

Upshot: It has been a summer to remember for the club. See you on the pitch this week!

Thanks, as usual, to GARY DIZE for coming out and shooting these images during our last match. As a photographer for the Potomac Nationals, he's a busy guy, so we're appreciative of his time and effort. 

Michael McCarthy