Mayo u18 inter-league side go for national honours

Soccer: SFAI U18 Inter League Final

This Sunday the Mayo Youth League u18 side are going for national glory when they take on the Cork Youth League in the final of the FAI u18 Inter League Cup in Solar 21 Milebush Park at 2.30pm.

Mayo's coach Mark Togher is calling on the Mayo football fans to come out and support the side. Speaking to the Mayo League's Summer Football Show, he said: "Home advantage in any sport, anyone who is involved in any level of sport, they'll tell you home advantage is a big thing, being able to stick to a routine and not be stuck in a bus for four or five hours is great, but when people come out and support us that is the key and we hope to see it on Sunday."

It has been a long road for Mayo to get to the final, starting back last October in the group stages of the competition where they came out top of a four team group including themselves and the Donegal Youth League, Innishowen Youth League, and the Monaghan and Cavan Junior League.

They topped that group with three wins from three seeing off the Monaghan-Cavan side 10-1 at home, and then picking up the points on the road against both the Donegal and Innishowen sides with 2-0 and 5-1 wins respectively.

In the quarter finals they had a 2-0 win at home over the Waterford & District Association Football League and then in the semi-final they saw off the Combined Counties Football League/Clare and District League.

Togher said that the side are really looking forward to the game as they aim to go one better than the last Mayo side to reach the final of this competition in 1989. "It's a big day, the lads are really looking forward to it, they have worked really hard all year and it is just desserts for their performances all year, they have won five games out of five in a very tough group stage.

"We had to go to Donegal and Inishowen, Cavan-Monaghan came here to us, and we had a tough game against Waterford in the quarter-final and then the Clare League in the semi-final — they were tough games. We are going in confident, it's a big day for all of the lads."

The coach praised the work done by all the clubs in Mayo in bringing through young talent that can reach this stage of the competition. "There is some great quality in the squad and that is a testament to all involved in Mayo football. We have a squad of 18 lads, all have put in a shift in all year, and they have put it in on the training field here when we've been together, because that is where the hard work is done.

"John Faughan and Kevin Bourke have done a great job in getting the lads selected, they know everyone, and we have a massive spread of lads from all over the county here playing with us."

As for their opponents Togher said he knew it was going to be a big challenge for his side on Sunday. "Cork will be a serious side, they always have serious footballers, we are delighted the game will be played here in Castlebar."

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