Road to Aviva ends in glory for school stars
THE future of Irish soccer gathered in the Aviva Stadium yesterday for the finals of the annual FAI primary schools' five-a-side competition.
After months of hard work, thousands of participants were whittled down to just 160 boys and girls for the final of the national competition in Dublin.
The Aviva Health FAI Primary School 5s is the country's biggest soccer competition for primary school students, and more than 17,000 children from 1,000 different schools kicked off their campaign to reach the Aviva earlier this year.
The youngsters were required to compete in county, regional and provincial finals to secure a place in the finals in Lansdowne Road.
The eventual winners of the smaller school category were Lisaniskey NS, Co Roscommon. Scoil Mhuire na mBuachailli in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan secured the medium-sized schools category, while St Patrick's National School, Co Galway, were winners of the larger schools category.
Although the FAI encouraged schools to enter mixed-gender teams, two special categories for girls' schools were in place, where Scoil Cholmcille, Inishowen, Co Donegal, and Scoil Cholmcille Senior, from Ballybrack, Dublin, took home the spoils.