On Tuesday 15th October, The Park u10s headed for Dublin for the FAI Future Football Finals Day. Playing in the shadow of the Aviva Stadium, the players were full of optimism as they saw the stadium that they would watch their idols in later.
The team were to play four 4v4 games with no goalkeepers, with the best team progressing to the next round. Of course, the most important thing was that the players enjoy their day in the Big Smoke but the kids were determined on coming out victorious. And they made a great stab at it!
The first group stage consisted of 5 teams, with each team playing each other once in 10 minute games. The Park hit the ground running and dismissed any fear of tiredness from the long bus journey with two wins and two draws from their opening 4 games. The team effort was evident throughout with all players contributing enormously to the cause. Thanks to these super results, there were smiles all around as our lads and ladies progressed the second group phase.
Here, they faced off against Corduff (Dublin), Shelbourne (Dublin) and St Peters (Meath). Once again the emphasis was on the enjoyment of the games and the development of the players’ skills but winning was always a goal for the Park. In this group stage, they faced must stiffer opposition, but were well equipped for the challenge and gave a very strong showing in their 3 games, winning 2 and losing 1. These superb results put them 2nd in the group behind Corduff and gave a semi-final place against Swords (Dublin).
After so many good showings throughout a very long day for the team, they had to find one more big performance. They gave a monumental showing in this match but unfortunately they came up short losing out 3-1. The score line flattered the victors as the Park were within touching distance of Swords for the majority of the game. This game brought an end to the matches for the Park. After some much needed food, it was time for the big one, the Republic of Ireland versus Kazakhstan!
Before the game, the Park team, like all the others, were paraded in front of the crowds before kick-off and were given a huge reception from the supporters, as well as a few thumbs-up from the boys in green, as they warmed up for the game. “Ought To, Ought To Be, Ought To Be A Parkie!” was sung by the Park boys as they prepared for kick-off, hoping for a great result. The smiles that were on show all day continued throughout the match, as Ireland ran out 3-1 victors, topping off what was superb day for the Park.
The parents that travelled up as well as our other supporters created a great atmosphere for the players, encouraging them on from the side-lines, and this clearly had an effect on the players, as they were lifted by the great support. All parents and supporters who travelled up are due a huge thank you from the club, as well as they coaches who helped keep the day running smoothly: Padraig McCannon, Pa Kerins, Adam Barrett, Michael McCannon & Trina Wallace.
All the players involved on the pitch and off it were a credit to the club throughout the day and should be very proud of their achievements during the day. Every member of the squad were brilliantly behaved and were a joy to have on the day.
The squad was; Lily O’Brien, Grace McCannon, Conor Kerins, Cormac Gallagher, Colin Doody, Cianan Cooney, Adam Murphy, Ben Hanafin, Tom Flavin, Maurice O’Connell, Dylan McKenna, Cillian Murphy, Austin Fitzgerald, Matthew Higgins, Fionan Egan, Harry Meehan and Darragh O’Connor.
Report By Adam Barrett.