Five-day Kennedy Cup soccer bonanza kicks off at UL

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Five-day Kennedy Cup soccer bonanza kicks off at UL

Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny at the launch of the SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup which takes place at UL beginning this Tuesday

THE SFAI New Balance Kennedy Cup kicks off at UL this Tuesday afternoon with three Limerick sides seeking success in the 32-team U14 inter-league competition.

The competition will run this year from Tuesday, June 11 until Saturday, June 15 inclusive rather than the more traditional Monday to Friday schedule. The 24 hours later than normal start next week is to avoid a direct clash with the Rep of Ireland’s European Championship qualifier with Gibraltar at the Aviva Stadium on Monday night.

Following the recent draw for the competition, the Limerick and District Schoolboy League have been drawn in Group 2 alongside the North Dublin Schoolboy League, the West Cork Schoolboy League and the Roscommon and District Youths and Schoolboy League.

Meanwhile, Limerick County Schoolboy League have been drawn in Group 5 with the Kildare and District Underage League, the Clare Schoolboy League and the Kerry Schoolboy League.

The third Limerick side, the Limerick Desmond Schoolboy League are in Group 7 with the Sligo Leitrim, Donegal and Carlow Schoolboy Leagues. Desmond kick off against the Sligo-Leitrim League at 6pm on Tuesday.

The Limerick District Schoolboy League (LDSL) open their group campaign with a game against the Roscommon League at 4pm on Tuesday at UL, while District take on West Cork at 10.30am on Wednesday, June 12, while the LDSL’s final group fixture is against the NDSL at 4pm on the Wednesday.

The knock-out stages of the Kennedy Cup begin at 11am on Thursday, June 13. The final of the Kennedy Cup is due to take place on Saturday, June 15 at 3.30pm at UL.

The games will be played at a combination of the grass pitches and the 4G pitches at Maguire's Field at UL.

The LDSL won their second Kennedy Cup in its current format in the year 2000.

The Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland (SFAI) recently confirmed the inclusion of the South Belfast Youth League in this year’s Kennedy Cup. Their inclusion comes following the South Dublin Football League’s withdrawal from the competition.

South Belfast Youth League will go into Group Three of the Kennedy Cup, alongside Galway, North Tipperary and Inishowen.

The SFAI U-14, Kennedy Cup in existence since 1976, was originally played as a knockout competition with a small number of teams competing.

Now it features 640 players representing the 32 Inter-League teams, 36 referees, 95 league personnel on hand throughout the week, St Johns Ambulance Brigade, along with members of the SFAI organising committee, in the region of 1,000 personnel in one way or another will be involved in the running of the Tournament.

Approximately 950 bedrooms are taking up in the University of Limerick complex as well as hotels and guest houses in the area being booked out. All the players, team and league officials, referees, are all accommodated in the UL Campus throughout the week.

The Kennedy Cup attracts many football scouts from the top Clubs in England and Scotland, as well as the Ireland underage International team Managers. Over the years some of the finest players who went on to represent Ireland at senior International Football would have played in the Kennedy Cup.


LIMERICK DESMOND


SQUAD: James Ranahan (Kildimo Utd), Ethan Browne (Kildimo Utd), Ben Higgins (Kildimo Utd), Tiernan Meaney (Kildimo Utd), Cian Arthur (AK Utd), Shane O’Sullivan (AK Utd), Michael O’Brien (Newcastle West Town FC), Sean Hartigan (Kildimo Utd), John Fitzgerald (Rathkeale AFC), Jack O’Sullivan (Abbeyfeale Utd), Jamie Moloney (GB Rovers), Sean O’Brien (Kildimo Utd), Robert O’Farrell (Kildimo Utd), Luke Mansfield (Carrig Celtic), Patrick Ivess (AK Utd), Ciaran McMahon (Kildimo Utd), Bobby Smith (Kildimo Utd), Ray Scannell (AK Utd), Killian Keogh (Abbeyfeale Utd), Kevin O’Connell (Askeaton AFC)

MANAGEMENT TEAM: Billy O'Sullivan, Denis Hayes, Kieran McMahon, Gary Manning.


LIMERICK DISTRICT

SQUAD: Luke Carmody (Shelbourne), Jamie Young (Aisling Annacotty), Aaron Coleman (Newport), Jay McNamara (Pike Rovers), Darren Nwawkwo (Aisling) Annacotty), StephenYoung (Aisling Annacotty), Shane O'Gorman (Pike Rovers), Josh McCarthy (Fairview Rangers), Colm Lenihan (Aisling Annacotty), Matthew Carroll (Aisling Annacotty), Nathan O'Shea (Aisling Annacotty), Rapheal Junior (Summerville), Sam Browne (Shelbourne), Donnacha O'Leary (Aisling Annacotty), Aaron Hough (Aisling Annacotty), Matthew Te Pau (Fairview Rangers), Leon Johnson (Pike Rovers), Rian O'Halloran (Shelbourne FC), Sean O'hAodha (Aisling Annacotty), JonathonMullally (Pike Rovers)
 
MANAGEMENT TEAM: Head of Delegation: Declan Earls; Manager: Noel O'Connor, Coach: Dave Connolly; Goalkeeping Coach: Kevin Fitzpatrick; Coach: Dave Mahedy; Coach: Aidan Ryan.

LIMERICK COUNTY

SQUAD: Sean Carroll, Kodi Cok, Aaron Moffatt, Tristan Stokes, DJ Collins, Luiz Pablo, Paddy Downey, Cathal Kearnes, Hugh Murnane, Michael Ryan, Shane Ryan, Bailey Ryan, Jake McNamara Leamy, Donncha Hogan, Jamie Kirby, David Moloney, Callum Murphy, James O'Sullivan, Tadhg Hourigan, Darragh Enright.


MANAGEMENT TEAM: Head Coach: Eoghan O'Donnell; Assistant Coach: Eddie Murphy; Coach: Timmy Rainsford; Coach: Noel Corbett.