Friday 23 February 2018

More glory for Gorey soccer trio

FOLLOWING FOUR days of intense competition at Salthill Devon FC in Drom, Galway, the Ireland Under-16 soccer squad once again regained the Macron Galway Cup in the 1998 elite section of the competition, after eight years of trying.

Ireland were last victorious in 2005 and since then the trophy has gone to Aberdeen (2006), Ipswich (2007), Leicester (2008-2009), Aberdeen (2010), Glasgow Celtic (2011). Last year, Dynamo Moscow played Ireland in the final and after a normal time draw, the Russians edged the Republic of Ireland out in a penalty shoot-out.

Last week, the Irish squad of aspiring footballers played their four group games over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, beating Torquay United from England 4-0, St. Kevin's Boys from Dublin 3-1, Maccabi Haifa from Israel 2-0, and Arvoll Il from Norway 3-0.

Having topped the group, they had to play the runners-up in the group, the Israeli team, in the final on Saturday. Despite severe pressure from a very big, physical and skilful Israeli team, the Irish squad prevailed with a 1-0 win, and lifted the trophy once again. Five games, five wins, 13 goals scored, one goal conceded. Not a bad week's work!

Once again, there were three Gorey players on the 18-man squad, doing their part to ensure success for the Ireland team. These were midfielder Conor Levingston, right-back Mikey Quigley and goalkeeper Corey Chambers who celebrated his tenth game with this Irish squad with a clean sheet in the final, his seventh clean sheet since he was selected to represent his country 12 months ago, with only three goals conceded in that time.

The three Wexford lads have become an integral part of this international team, and will now try to ensure that they retain their good form so they will be selected to represent their country at the end of September in an international double-header against Estonia, where once again they can hone their skills against some very good opposition, and build on their international experience and reputations.

Signor Trapattoni, watch this space please!

Enniscorthy Guardian

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