Our u13A team recently visited St Joeys in Dublin as part of their pre-season preparation. Overall this experience was a positive one in the long term development of these young players. We played three games at Joeys which were very worthwhile and we had the pleasure of being hosted in their top class modern club rooms.
Game 1 was played against there u14B team, this game was very challenging for us as we were certainly at a disadvantage from the off due to the physical advantage Joeys had. However we played a lot of the positive football throughout the game and our boys represented themselves well as we took the lead through an Eoghan Carroll goal. Joeys did apply pressure after that and their dominance was rewarded by a few well taken goals. All credit must go to our players as they never conceded the tie and we were to add to our earlier goal with a well hit free kick from Padraig McCannon.
Game 2 saw us play their under 13A team and this was a much tighter affair, Joeys set the tone of the game from the off with some excellent passing and moving. We found the game very quick and in the first half we were chasing shadows. The second half was really showed what this team can do when the pressure is put on. We were much more mobile and we pressed all over the field, this pressure certainly did reduce Joeys percentage of possession and in turn gave our players the opportunity to show that they were equally as talented as the opposition when it comes to passing and movement. Adding the commitment show by us to the ability each player has we hit the target through an Alfie Christie peno that came as a direct result of our 2nd half dominance. This game was the one the management regarded as being most important as we consider Joeys as being a club that set the bench marks in under age soccer in the country and the management were more that happy with the performance of all players.
Game 3 was our final game of the trip, after the big effort put in already in the last two games this game was played in a relaxed fashion, all players were given the opportunity to play in this game and we even saw our goalkeeper try his luck from a corner at the other end of the field. We did score again in this game with Padraig hitting the net twice.
On reflection of the past trip we were very pleased with the level we played at and we are very happy to have seen our players grow, and learn more about playing in the style we want.
Although the trip was about development firstly we also had a great time entertaining ourselves along the way. We stayed at a top class hotel (the roaches town lodge), there we were very well looked after and we even had time for a dip in the pool. Rumours were that there was a haunted room in the hotel that kept some of our players up half the night. BOO………
We had great fun in the arcade centre in Stilorglan playing Quasar ( jack was the main target for some reason) and playing bowling also. Most pocket money was spent here trying to win in the cash fall machines.
A big thanks must go to all at Joeys for the great welcome we received as a club, no shortage of sandwiches, chocolate, cakes, minerals and of course tea. Our main contact in organising the trip was Jason Costello and we say thanks for your help.
All parents were very helpful as always as were Fergal Moriorty(assistant coach) and Garry Tobin (cameraman and accountant over both days).
Thanks also to Seanie Power the bus driver for his patience, he even had the energy to stop at McDonalds after all his efforts.
The behaviour show by all while away representing our club was second to none and we commend all players for this.