Alan Lyons

Alan Lyons
Why I'm Participating

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"Mr. Chairman" as he was referred to at the most recent AGM, stands as a testament to the remarkable dedication Alan embodies for Naomh Ultan. Few individuals across the country can claim to have contributed as significantly to their club as he has, both on and off the field! 

Growing up in Castleview and Dunkineely surrounded by many of the footballers who were representing at club at that time, "Biggins" was always destined to play for Naomh Ultan, but few would have predicted the heights he would achieve at underage and adult level. 

Rocking up to Páirc Naomh Ultan as a five year old, he was one to quickly develop both in terms of footballing ability and size. Even in his early years, he found himself competing in age grades well beyond his own, showing his natural talent and rapid development. Outside of GAA, he was a very keen athlete who won an All-Ireland triumph in Shot Put. Moreover, his talents extended to the soccer field, where he proudly represented Donegal schoolboys among other esteemed teams. 

However, it was within Naomh Ultan that his passion thrived, reaching remarkable heights especially as he progressed beyond the U12 & U14 levels. The encounters against Kilcar in U14 finals provided riveting spectacles, with Alan frequently pitted against the formidable Paddy McBrearty. These matches more so resembled tennis matches, with both players exchanging scores relentlessly. In one instance in Dunkineely, Paddy managed to score 5-6, Alan however went one better and hit 5-7! 

The following year he found himself being one of the main protagonists in the very successful Minor team of 2008, who went unbeaten for the season and clinched a county league and Championship double. As a result of his performances on the field and despite only turning 16, he was selected for the Donegal minor team in 2009. 

As exhilarating as sports can be, it can also be unforgiving, a reality painfully felt by Alan on two occasions in a very short space of time. In 2009, he endured the setback of tearing his ACL and unfortunately did so again in 2010 after making his return to the field to play in the Junior B Championship final, which the side lost. 

Alan's undeniable talent speaks for itself, but it's his remarkable resilience and perseverance that truly set him apart. Such strength of character is a rare find, especially among individuals of his young age.

Following his second comeback to the playing field in 2011, Alan played a pivotal role in guiding the reserve side to redemption, peaking in a victorious Junior B Championship campaign that erased the disappointment of the 2010 final loss. Reclaiming his peak form, Alan solidified his position as the primary scoring threat for our senior side. Needless to say, opposing full-backs were never thrilled to see him coming. It's quite amusing how Alan found himself in a career as a prison officer, considering his adeptness at enforcing his presence on the field years prior to joining the service! 

In 2015, all the personal setbacks and disappointments were once again alleviated when Lyons and his team clinched the Junior A Championship, having lost in the final the previous year. Additionally, they secured the league title in the same season. Following this triumph, Alan's progress surged, leading to his involvement with the Donegal panel in early 2017.

Regrettably, Alan faced more cruel blows in 2018 and again in 2022 when the dreaded knee injuries resurfaced, significantly affecting his ability to meet the high standards he sets for himself on the field. However, reflecting his unwavering character and deep affection for Naomh Ultan, he answered the call of the club once more. Last year, he rose to the occasion yet again, assuming the chairman position at the young age of 30. What he lacks in years doesn't reflect in his work carried out within the role, his dedication and effectiveness of his contributions in this position are evident today! 

As humorously noted earlier, Alan was referred to as "Mr. Chairman," but perhaps a more fitting title would be "Mr. Naomh Ultan," given his unparalleled dedication and deep-rooted connection to the club!

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