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What a superb soccer spectacle

IT's the best free show in the country and the players of the 2013 Kennedy Cup didn't dissappoint, with excellent performances and memorable encounters populating a week of frenetic action.

There may be trouble ahead on a political front, but from a sporting angle there is simply nothing to touch the near 200 games of football that showcases the best young talent in the country.

The occasion was littered with scouts from across channel who were anxious to unearth the next generation of Robbie Keanes and Shane Longs.

There was also the network of FAI Emerging Talent personnel under the excellent direction of Niall Harrison.

Each player would be watched at least five times over the course of the week as Harrson's team of talent spotters went about their work with professional zeal.

The attention to detail leaves little or no chance that any 'nuggets' will slip through the system. This year's elite selection can look forward to an induction into a process that, in a few years' time, will lead to them breaking through into the senior end of the FAI playing structure.

BUMPER CROWDS A SIGN OF SUCCESS

RIGHT from the opening salvos last Monday evening, the 2013 Kennedy Cup witnessed bumper crowds attending games over the course of the tournament and local organiser Gerry McCormack was delighted with the attendance figures at the University of Limerick.

"The numbers have been massive every day to watch the action, but it's a testimony to the venue that it is an ideal location to host the event and also to the organsing committees and people in the background who deserve a lot of credit for making the Kennedy Cup the success it is," he said.

PLAYER FITNESS IS SIMPLY FIRST CLASS

THE Bowl at Limerick University is a full international-dimension pitch, but the players who graced the pitch for the semi-finals and the final showed remarkable levels of fitness over the course of the tournament.

It's a credit to the various conditioning coaches that their charges were in tip-top shape right to the final whistle.

FAI CHIEF MAKES KENNEDY VISIT

FAI CEO John Delaney was a welcome visitor to the Kennedy Cup on Friday and made several presentations to Plate and Trophy winners while also addressing the two finalists after the concluding game at the University Bowl, thanking the players for putting on an excellent encounter for spectators.


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