By Bobby Lynch NTSFL PRO
A North Tipperary u13 representative team is taking part in the SFAI Kennedy cup at the University of Limerick next week beginning on Monday 13 June.
What is undoubtedly Ireland’s most prestigious schoolboy soccer tournament sees teams representing the country’s 32 leagues, the SFAI Umbro Kennedy Cup is the SFAI’s annual showpiece where the top 640 players representing all 32 league districts descend on the UL campus for the weekly event, where silverware at Cup, Plate, Bowl, shild and trophy levels is played for.
According to the SFAI, the 2010 Umbro sponsored event, there were 121 goals scored in 48 group format games and - disregarding penalty shoot outs - a total of 113 goals were scored in 48 knock out games. 96 games in total were played over the week-long event.
Current English premiership players and Republic of Ireland internationals such as John O Shea, Stephen Ireland and Damian Duff have played in this tournament. Undoubtedly a stepping stone for them in what are now well established professional soccer careers. With the recent success of the NTSFL’s u12s in winning the SFAI Cashin Cup a few weeks ago, the baton has now been passed to the Under 13 squad to proudly fly the banner for North Tipperary under-age soccer, commented Manager David Rooney and added “Our 12’s to their credit have certainly raised the bar so it’s up to our lads to step up to it now. As the number 32 seeded team, we will be huge underdogs as usual but I am quietly confident that we can upset a few of the big guns. This squad is three years in the making and after all the final training sessions and adjustments, they are just coming right and hope we can do the league proud”.
North Tipperary start thier proceedings next Monday 13th against group top seeds Kerry with kick-off at 5pm. Tuesday will then see two games; first up against a strong Sligo/Leitrim team at 10.30am followed by an eagerly awaited local derby against South Tipperary that evening at 5pm.
Games will follow then on Wednesday and Thursday with opponents to be decided after final Group placings are known.
Tomas Ryan, Chairperson of The NTSFL management committee, said he wishes all the squad & coaches David Rooney, Tommy Hill (Ardcroney FC) and Stephen Ahern (Moneygall FC), the very best of luck in next weeks tournament on behalf of the league management committee and indeed the entire North Tipperary soccer fraternity.
“We would strongly urge anyone associated with and who has an interest in the North Tipperary Schoolchildrens Football League to go in and support the lads if they are free during match times. The standard of football on show from all teams can be very good and is definetly worth the journey’’to see both the soccer and facilities on show,’’ he added.
The North Tipperary Schoolchildrens Football League u13 Kennedy Cup squad is:
1 Eoin Brophy (Templemore FC)
2 Tom Dooley (Ardcroney FC)
3 Josh McCarthy (Ballymackey FC)
4 Liam Ryan (Ballymackey FC)
5 Kevin Hassett (Templemore FC)
6 Jack Skehan (Holycross FC)
7 Liam McCutcheon (Ballymackey FC)
8 Paul Walsh (Nenagh Celtic FC)
9 Patrick Deegan (Rearcross FC)
10 Ross Fitzgerald (Nenagh AFC)
11 Jamie Bergin (Templemore FC)
12 Dara Gleeson (Templemore FC)
13 David Kelly (Lough Derg FC)
14 Stevie Nolan (Templemore FC)
15 Cian Darcy (Ballymackey FC)
16 Eimhin Ryan (Lough Derg FC)
17 John O Connor (Ballymackey FC)
18 Michael Greed (Templemore FC)
19 Emmet Moloney (Capt) (Templemore FC)
20 Tommy Holland (Ardcroney FC)
The coaches will be assisted by Mark McKenna, John Delaney, North Tipperary FAI Development Officer James Scott and Head of Delegation Jamie Gilmour. Results and up-to-information will be posted on the SFAI website at www.sfai.ie and about North Tipperary in particular on the leagues website at www.ntsl.league.ie