On behalf of the mentors and fellow Acorn children , we would like to welcome you to Donaghmore Ashbourne Acorns section– we hope you enjoy your stay.

The Indoor Nursery Programme, “Acorns”, takes place in the Clubhouse Saturday Morning 9.30 to 10.45am and 11.00-12.15 for boys and girls aged 4-7 years old approx.

This is a series of fun based exercises that covers Agility/Balance and Coordination, that involves throwing, catching, passing, kicking and hand eye coordination through football and hurling skills.

The Nursey Programme is the first introduction for children into Gaelic Games and is all about fun.

For further details contact the club on 01 849 9140. Hope to see you there on Saturday.


football_street_league                            hurling_street_league_1


Our Acorn section will teach your child the skills of Gaelic games (Hurling ,Camogie and Football) in a fun and safe environment where full participation is actively encouraged by our parent volunteers and club mentors.

Typically a child will spend three years in Acorns after which they will move to our Under 8 “go-games” teams – children remain at under 8 until they are old enough to move to Under 9.

Training takes place once a week as follows:

When :  Saturday Mornings 9.30 to 10.45am and 11.00-12.15

Venue :  Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA Arena


football_street_league_1             hurling_street_league

Frequently Asked Questions :

Q : If the weather is bad , how will I know if training has moved indoors ?
A:  All training will be indoors in the Arena.

Q: What age is the Acorns intended for ?
A: Boys and Girls age 4 to 7. From age 7 or once 3 years are completed in Acorns, children play at under 8 level.

Q: How is the training structured?
A: The session includes a warm up , time at stations focusing on a particular skill e.g. Kicking/ hand passing/ hurling lineball , running. Followed by a match.

Q: Do children in Acorns get to play against other teams.
A: Yes–towards the end of your child’s third year we organise challenge matches against other clubs.

Q: What is the club ethos?
A: The emphasis is on participation and enjoyment – learning through fun.  All players, no matter what their skill level, get to play and everyone is substituted.  Our approach is to build confidence through encouragement and to make the game as enjoyable as possible, following approved GAA coaching methods.

Q: What does the club expect from parents of Acorns children?
A: For children in the Acorns, the club expects that a parent/adult responsible for the child remains at the pitch at all times. One adult can be responsible for more than one child at a time. Parents should bring a drink to all sessions and are invited to participate by assisting mentors thereby making their child’s interaction more fun.

Q: When do you stop for Winter, Summer holidays etc.. ?
A: In general we follow the school calendar – you will be notified throughout the year on Saturdays and on club website and club Facebook page.

Q: What are go-games ?
A: Special small sided games designed by the GAA for younger children with rules and equipment appropriate to the age group in question. Various types of go-games are played from Acorns up to age 12 in both hurling and football and Camogie.

Q: Is there any girl-only sides ?
A: Yes – we offer Camogie and Girls football from age 8.

Q: What does it cost for my child to participate in the Acorns ?
A: There are a range of cost structures to suit one child plus adult, two children and family membership.  Please contact club reception on  01 849 9140 for full details. This covers Football, Hurling and Camogie. All money generated from this fee goes back into improving the Acorns facilities for your child.

Q: What should my child wear for football ?
A: For football children MUST wear a mouthguard.

Q: What should my child wear for hurling ?
A: For hurling children MUST wear a helmet – Helmets are supplied to new players, if parent wish they can purchase their own helmet. (available in club shop) We also encourage children to wear shin guards.

Q: What size hurl should I get ?
A: Hurls will also be provided. Hurls should be ground to hip height (not waist!)  – for most Acorn players this should be 18” to 24”- again available in the club shop. Mentors will always be available to advise on correct hurl for each child.

Q: How does the under 8 league work with codes (i.e. football and hurling/Camogie) ?
A: Matches take place Saturday morning alternating between home (Donaghmore Ashbourne) and away matches. One Saturday we play hurling/Camogie, the next is Football and so on throughout the year.

Q: When is the club shop open and what does it sell?
A: The club shop is opened Monday to Friday 9.30 to 6pm (closed lunch 1-2pm) It sells everything from club jerseys/tracksuits, hurls and helmets, mouthguard to beanie hats and caps.

Q: Do you organise camps and mini-leagues?
A: Yes , we have  Summer camps  together with summer-leagues ) and blitz/skills competitions throughout the year.  Mentors will communicate details in advance.

Q: Can parents help/become involved ?
A: Yes – parents are encouraged to become involved – formal GAA coaching courses are offered to all mentors throughout the year. If you are interested in mentoring, please make yourself know to one of our mentors. No previous experience is necessary.

If you are not interested in mentoring you can help in other ways – we need parents to help us gather up and store equipment, administration tasks etc. The club is run almost entirely by volunteers and new help is always welcome.

Q: Is anything organised for the parents ?
A: Yes, a number of times a year we have social nights in the club. Bingo is also on every Thursday together with the Club Bar which is available to all( members. And non-members).


Our Sponsors