Wexford hub victors in six-a-side competition
AFTER WINNING the Nationwide Aontas Star Award for delivering training and education in sports and recreation for people who are unemployed, five of Ireland's Project FUTSAL hubs gathered at the National Sports Campus for the first-ever inter-hub six-a-side competition.
The hubs represented were from Ballymun, Clonmel, Collinstown, Corduff and Wexford. There were nine teams and two groups. Group 1 had five 'A' teams, one from each hub, while Group 2 was made up of three 'B' teams from Corduff, Collinstown and Wexford as well as a third Wexford team.
The top two teams in each group advanced to the semi-finals. In Group 2 both of the Wexford teams lost their games against the two Dublin teams before playing each other for some local pride in the final group game. The second team narrowly defeated the third team to secure the bragging rights.
Group 1 served up some fine games of football. The Wexford team was made up of captain Robin Dempsey, Ross Celtic's player/coach Robbie Farrell, North End pair Jamie Kelly and Jordan Jarrett, Moyne Rangers duo Robert Vickers and Timmy Dwyer, Conor McGuire and goalkeeper Shane Sinnott.
In their opening game the Wexford lads beat the Corduff team 3-0 before securing impressive wins over Ballymun and Clonmel. The three wins meant that the Wexford lads qualified for the semi-finals and took their foot off the gas in the last group game with Collinstown's 'A' team which was drawn.
Throughout the group stage the Ferycarrig-based hub looked comfortable, Dempsey always looked dangerous and Robbie Farrell didn't put a foot wrong all day. Added to this Kelly and Dwyer were solid at the back but when called upon 'keeper Shane Sinnott made some fantastic saves.
In the semi-finals, the boys had a comprehensive win over Collinstown's 'B' team before playing Ballymun in the final. The Wexford lads had played three games without a break before taking to the field in the final whereas their Dublin counterparts had had regular breaks. If the Wexford lads were tired though it did not show as they dominated what was at times a very fiery affair. In the end two fine strikes from Robin Dempsey settled the tie 2-0 in favour of Wexford.
After the competition all the teams ascended on the Aviva Stadium to watch Ireland's defeat to Serbia.
The loss didn't put a dampener on the day for the Wexford hub though as they sang the whole way home.
On Tuesday, the participants went out in to the community as part of their work experience module. Over the next six weeks they will complete their placements before handing a logbook in to tutor Tom Elmes.
On Friday, the lads began the preparations for their Youth Cert. final assessments in Ferrycarrig Park under the supervision of Wexford's F.A.I. Development Officer, William Doyle. The participants will sit their final assessments at the end of May.
The F.A.I. Kids Kickers will move location when the next spell gets under way on March 25. The new home of the Kids Kickers will be St. Joseph's Club and Community Centre in Bishopswater. The programme is for children between the ages of four and seven years and places can be booke by calling Laura on 087-2267100.
The Heaton's-sponsored F.A.I. after schools clubs will continue in the Mercy School, John's Road and in Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
The Project FUTSAL Under-8 and Under-7 Leagues were postponed on Saturday because of the strong winds that swept the county but will resume again in two weeks.
This week the Project FUTSAL participants will continue their work experience in the local community on Tuesday. They will return to the local primary schools to coach the students on Wednesday and will begin their nutrition module with tutor Robbie Sludds on Thursday before continuing their Youth Cert.preparations on Friday.
Project FUTSAL is funded by the Ireland-Wales 2007-2013 Inter Regional Funding Programme and in Wexford co-funded by the Wexford-Waterford Education & Training Board.