LIMERICK could have a future soccer star in the making after Fairview Rangers youngster Ger Barry won a prestigious soccer skills competition in Manchester.
Twelve-year-old Ger claimed first place in the Bobby Charlton Soccer and Sports Academy – a prize previously won by professional soccer players David Beckham and Stephen Ireland – after achieving the highest points in each of the five drills in the week-long camp, which took place in August.
Proud father Tony Barry was delighted for his son, who spends hours on end every evening practising his skills.
“He loves it in fairness, he puts a lot of time into it. He lives and breathes it.
“Last year he only lost out by a couple of points; this year he went over and he won it. The girl that came second was 17 and she played for Manchester City.
“He’s thrilled with himself, it’s a big achievement for him. There were over 250 kids from all over the world there,” he said.
While in Manchester, Ger – whose favourite player is Manchester United number 10 Wayne Rooney – played a friendly against English Conference club Stockport County, in which he scored a free-kick in a 2-2 draw.
It’s been a whirlwind year for the Castletroy youngster, who scored over 50 goals for his club Fairview Rangers and the Limerick Academy and recently began 1st year in CBS Sexton Street.
And after Tony jokingly quipped that Ger was costing him a fortune in soccer camps, the youngster was quick to point out his Confirmation money had covered the expenses!
Last year, Ger came 11th in the competition, which takes place annually in Parswood Campus in Didsbury, just a short drive from English Premier League club Manchester United’s stadium Old Trafford. Next up for the Fairview Rangers forward is a trip to Manchester for the World Skills Final in October, where Manchester United first team coach Rene Meulensteen will take a training session.