Erne Wanderers, who are presently in 5th place in the Temple Domestic Appliances Division One of the Donegal League, are in danger of dropping out of the league due to lack of player interest.
Their manager for the last eight seasons, Alan Dorrian, has already intimated that due to family commitments that he will not be in charge next season, and the club will have to take stock after their remaining game as regards their future.
Dorrian has overseen the club win four league titles in his eight years in charge, between the Saturday and Sunday Leagues, but has found it increasingly frustrating to field teams.
“It has been a struggle this season. It is a real slog, not just for us. We have seen Eany Celtic pull out,” said Dorrian, who says he sees teams arriving at the Lakeside for games with just 11 players.
“You are on the ‘phone all week to get 11 players to commit. You send out a text on a Monday or Tuesday and maybe the same four or five will respond every week. Then you are sitting by the ‘phone on a Saturday night,” said Dorrian.
Erne Wanderers joined the Saturday League firstly and were very successful and Dorrian encouraged them to go for the Sunday option because he felt they had the talent.
“To get to the top you have to train two nights a week. This year we joined Cliffoney Celtic and at the start we had seven or eight but then it was down to four or five. If I had my best team I would have no fear of playing any team in Donegal,” he said.
“Maybe eight years was too much, listening to the same voice. The enjoyment has gone out of it. The younger generation are very different. In today’s world you can contact anywhere in the world within 30 seconds yet you are fighting to field a team from the town,” said Dorrian, who said some of the older lads would have missed weddings and parties to play.
“I’m not bitter but it would be a pity if the team folds. Maybe they can get back into Saturday football if they can get a manager and the league accepts them.”
Dorrian is steeped in football, having been part of the travelling party with Ballintra Rovers when his late father, Lenny, was one of the top wingers in the Donegal League. He came up through the ranks playing with Kilbarron United.
Now the wheel has gone full circle and Alan is already helping out with his own two boys in the underage ranks.
While he will step down after their last game, he doesn’t rule out a return in the future. He has plenty on his plate with a new arrival this week and, like many others, his boys are big into all sports. Alan wouldn’t have it any other way.
But you can sense that he will be disappointed if Erne Wanderers do not feature next season!