Limerick FC manager Tommy Barrett
LIMERICK FC manager Tommy Barrett revealed that he didn’t play in the SFAI Kennedy Cup as a teenager because he was judged to be ‘too small’ to make the squad.
The 32-team U-14 inter-league schoolboy soccer competition is continuing at the University of Limerick until this Friday evening.
Despite the setback of not making the Kennedy Cup squad, Barrett went on to enjoy a successful League of Ireland playing career, lining out for for Limerick, Shamrock Rovers and Athlone Town, before retiring from playing in 2012.
Blues boss Barrett also recalled that Limerick man Bobby Ryan, who went on to win League of Ireland Premier Division medals with Bohemians and Shelbourne, was another to miss out on playing in the Kennedy Cup due to his size.
Tommy Barrett said: “I didn’t play in the Kennedy Cup, didn’t make it. I was very small, a late developer.
”I didn’t grow until I was about 16. Myself and Bobby Ryan actually, believe it or not, particularly Bobby, whatever about me, we didn’t make it.
“The two of us were told we were too small. That is why I would be conscious of the smaller players.
”Look, that helped us get a bit of resilience, we kept going and played League of Ireland afterwards.
”It was only two or three out of our age-group who were on the Kennedy Cup who played League of Ireland, so I think it helped us in the long run not to play in it because it helped us build that resilience.
”But it can go the other way too, lots of lads can drop their heads, but we didn’t. For anyone who doesn’t get on it, it’s not the end of the world, I would say that.”
Barrett, who has attended games at the Kennedy Cup this week said he would be in favour of reducing the size of the playing pitch at the tournament.
”I would probably reduce the pitch size for Kennedy Cup games being honest. It looks a bit big. I will probably get killed for saying that, but you see it suits the bigger players.
“The real gems, the smaller lads can get over-looked. In saying that, the best players on the pitch are often the smaller lads. It is a good tournament, it’s great for the public I like the look of Limerick District.”