Tipperary U15 girls soccer team coaches John Cremins, Leah Cremins and Barry Martin
The manager of the Tipperary Girls TSS&DL Gaynor Cup squad says the mental fortitude and resolve of his team should be rewarded by allowing them the opportunity to complete the tournament.
John Cremins made his comments after the Gaynor Cup competition was cancelled while the boys’ equivalent, the Kennedy Cup, has been postponed to a later date.
The TSS&DL U/15 team were due to play MGL (Metropolitans Girls League) North in the final in Athlone last month, while the U/13 side were waiting to play a semi-final against NECSL (North Eastern Counties Schoolboys/Girls League).
The decision of the FAI Women’s Football Committee to cancel the competitions prompted a campaign by the TSS&DL to reverse the ruling.
The Tipperary league’s stance received the backing of Ireland’s senior international star Stephanie Roche, who called the ruling harsh, before stating the importance of keeping the girls involved in soccer and not potentially pushing them into other sports.
The FAI Women’s Football Committee has since said it will review its decision in December.
TSS&DL Gaynor Cup manager John Cremins said the initial decision came as a surprise to everyone, as it was expected that they would have been in a position to complete the tournament in December if the restrictions were relaxed.
“There was massive disappointment amongst the squad when the news was relayed, but the disappointment felt by the parents quickly turned to a sense of frustration and dissatisfaction at the manner in which the decision was taken, in particular given that there had not been any consultation with the leagues involved.
“The response and support received over the weekend was magnificent and served to strengthen the resolve of everyone involved to lobby the committee to reconsider.
“We are delighted that the decision to cancel the tournament has been delayed but we remain unsure if a decision to continue will be reached.
“Obviously, we must wait until December until the current restrictions are reviewed and I hope that our teams are afforded the opportunity to complete their respective competitions.
“The health and wellbeing of everyone involved is obviously paramount in everyone’s consideration but the mental wellbeing of the players involved must also be a factor to consider.
“For many the Gaynor Cup tournament has been the outlet when everything around them was being cancelled.
“The mental fortitude that the girls across the country have shown in returning to complete the qualifying games, playing semi-finals after the initial lockdown is amazing and that resolve should be rewarded by the opportunity to complete the tournament,” said Cremins.
For more Tipperary sport read Joseph O'Brien triumphs in the Melbourne Cup