Athenry FC adds another trophy after league cup win

The Athenry winning team at the Kells Blackwater tournament.

The Athenry winning team at the Kells Blackwater tournament.

Athenry FC celebrated a super victory at the Kells Blackwater tournament in Co Meath.

The competition, which has been running since 2006, featured some 1400 players, but it was Athenry's boys’ soccer team that took the plaudits in the U16 tournament this year, following in the footsteps of St Kevin’s Boys, Kells Blackwater FC, Leixlip United, Crumlin, Athlone Town, Peamount United, St Francis, Home Farm, Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United.

Athenry, drawn against Navan Cosmos, Esker Celtic, Kells Celtic Youth FC, and St Francis in one half of the draw, topped their group, winning three out their four round robin games, beating Navan Cosmos 2-0, Esker Celtic 1-0, and Kells Celtic Youths FC 4-0. In the final group game, Athenry, having topped the table and qualified for the knockout stages, lost 3-0 to St Francis. Athenry went on to win their semi-final against Ballyoulster United 2-1, before adding Pike Rovers to their lists of scalps - winning 3-0 in the final.

All seventeen panel members made a massive contribution on the day and the strength of the Athenry bench was the difference.

Cormac McFadden in goals did a solid job, the defence players of Aaron Daly, Jason Coffey, Senan Treacy, Daniel Tear, David Kilbane and Ashka Little were tremendous all day. Midfield combinations of James Diviney, Hugh Mc Donald, Matthews Collins did an excellent job keeping possession and moving the ball with purpose. Our upfront combinations of Norbert Gaiderovas, Adam Lavelle, Sam Nyhan, Igor Cygan, Bruno De Sousa Fernandes and Sean Doggett, who made his debut with the team, all worked really well together and were decisive with their decision making in the final third of the pitch, resulting in six different players scoring on the day. Jack Molloy also made his first team debut in goals and made some great saves.

Athenry football club have participated in this tournament for many years, but it is the first time to win a cup final in any age category. During the 2021/2022 season this team won the U16 Championship League Cup in Eamonn Deacy Park, and they now move up to the U17 age category and expect to compete in the U17 Premiership.

Team manager Owen Diviney congratulated his players for a "fantastic effort" all season.

"They have consistently performed throughout the year due to their hard work, commitment, sacrifice and winning behaviors they constantly display on and off the field. Very proud of all these young men."

Athenry squad: Cormac McFadden, Jason Coffey, David Kilbane, Aaron Daly, Senan Treacy, Daniel Tear, Ashka Little, James Diviney, Hugh Mc Donald, Matthew Collins, Adam Lavelle, Sam Nyhan, Norbert Gaiderovas, Igor Cygan, Bruno De Sousa Fernandes, Sean Doggett, Jack Molloy and Stephen Kinsella (injured ). Unfortunately, Matthew Olney missed the tournament due to holidays and Cian McNeilus (recovering from injury ).


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