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Friday 31 October 2014

First Premier League appearance for boys

READING PROGRAMME FEATURES LOCAL SOCCER TALENT

SAOIRSE MCGARRIGLE

Published 11/12/2012 | 14:55

The page that appeared in the match programme for Reading v Everton. The top picture shows (from left): Manager of Wexford Kennedy Cup Under 14 side Dave Harpur; Reading Football Club Academy director Gary Webb; strength and conditioning coach Ashley...

WEXFORD RISING soccer stars and their mentors were delighted to find their photo featured in a official Premier League match day programme recently.

The programme sold at the Reading versus Everton match in the Madejski Stadium featured an entire page dedicated to a Wexford underage soccer team.

This came about after the Kennedy Cup Under 14 team invited a number of top coaches at the top UK club over to participate in a training session with the young football fanatics.

Tucker O'Brien of Belvedere Grove in Wexford is head coach of the team and said that the visit was a huge success and the chance to meet some of the sport's ' big shots' inspired the young footballers.

Although the primary objective of the training exercise was to benefit the local side, Reading officials revealed that they had their own agenda also as they were keeping an eye out for some up and coming talent. The Reading Football Academy director Gary Webb was one member of the two-man delegation that visited and he was said to have been greatly impressed by the level of talent displayed by the junior players.

He was reportedly eager to find some boys to follow in the footsteps of Wexford native Kevin Doyle who previously played with Reading.

He was accompanied on the trip with strength and conditioning coach Ashley Balfour that was on hand to dish out the fitness tips.

Speaking last week, Tucker said that the club's decision to document its visit to Wexford in an official match day programme shows the strength of the ties between Reading and Wexford.

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