West claim first juvenile trophy in decades

Philip McDonagh's team defeated Loughrea B in the U13 Division Four Cup final

West United U13s won the Division Four Cup final at Eamonn Deacy Park.

West United U13s won the Division Four Cup final at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Others doubted, but Philip McDonagh simply believed that possibilities existed. Even when training numbers were initially low, McDonagh stayed optimistic and on Sunday at Eamonn Deacy Park, West United's perseverance was rewarded.

The U13 Division Four Cup final win over Loughrea B ensured West could celebrate furiously. For a couple of decades West United did not field underage teams, but three years ago the playwright Christian O'Reilly spearheaded a group that resurrected juvenile football in the club.

"It was a great day for West United, who were so long without a juvenile section," McDonagh says. "It went very well, we came from a goal down to win it 4-2 in the end. There was a great support up there from the community with West, everyone was involved."

That it happened at the home of Galway football added to the sense of excitement. "The connection with Eamonn Deacy with West, this year is his 10th anniversary, it was great, especially to play up there," McDonagh adds. "The occasion for the lads, it was unbelievable."

Challenges existed for West, who had to stitch a team together at the start of the campaign. "Myself, Alan Grant, Trevor Sherry, and Bartley Carrick, who was involved doing goalkeeping coaching, and Eric O'Flaherty, son of Shane, he gave us a hand too," McDonagh adds. "We started off with eight young lads there about two or two and a half years ago.

"To be able to get players from the Claddagh school, it was great, the Jes, and surrounding areas. It was great."

Winning a trophy provides an injection to the whole underage West United set-up. "Big time, it is going unbelievable because the U14s have a chance of promotion in their first year too. The U13s could finish third in their division, and they have the cup which is a great."

**Listen to the full interview with West United U13 manager Philip McDonagh on this week's 'Cian on Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


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