Republic of Ireland assistant manager and football legend, Roy Keane was in Athlone last week to launch the Athlone District Schoolboy/Girl League’s Emerging Talent Programme League Centre.
Roy spoke to 120 players in age-groups U11, 12, 13 and 14 and their parents at a launch in the Athlone Institute of Technology last Thursday evening. For more than two hours he held the hugely appreciative attendance enthralled in a virtuoso display every bit as compelling as any of his on a football pitch.
The loquacious Cork man regaled young and old with stories from his illustrious career from a schoolboy with Rockmount in Cork to playing League of Ireland with Cobh to going to Nottingham Forest and then to Manchester United.
Keane’s obvious ease and exceptional good humour in engaging with the lucky ADSL players was very impressive. He charmed everyone present and was remarkably generous with his time, particularly with the young players.
However, Keane’s well documented determination and fierce will to win was also evident and inspirational in his advice to the young ADSL players to work hard, follow their dreams, and to never give up in anything they do.
The ADSL’s Emerging Talent Programme identifies the very best emerging talent from its member clubs and brings them to train and play together on a weekly basis each Friday evening in AIT in an effort to develop these players’ skills, technique, fitness, and football education.
The 2017/18 Emerging Talent group could not have a better beginning than the inspirational visit from one of Ireland’s best ever players. His impact was enormous on a night that none in attendance will ever forget for a long time. The ADSL Emerging Talent Programme commences this Friday.