THE Kevin Jacob Cup is not traditionally part of the schools soccer calendar, but 32 teams from across the Dublin/Kildare area are celebrating its debut-season success.
Last week saw the finals of the two sections of the cup – the U-15 and U-17 competitions – with Moyle Park College and Killinarden Community School claiming the respective trophies.
The new tournament was organised by former Kerry and current Laois inter-county Gaelic footballer Billy Sheehan, a teacher at Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School in Drimnagh.
Sheehan came up with the idea of the tournament when his own school team joined many others across Leinster in losing their places in this season's FAI Schools provincial cup competitions due to complications with the registration system.
Split into two 16-team competitions, with a round-robin first round followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final each, both sections were a huge success.
In the U-15 decider, Clondalkin's Moyle Park were 1-0 winners over Killinarden in Belfield, thanks to a Joshua Ukek goal. However, the Tallaght school did claim the U-17 title with a 3-2 final win over Our Lady Mercy. John Pambwe struck the winner after Michael Donoghue's brace for Our Lady Mercy was cancelled out by goals from Karl Chambers and Jordan Molloy.
But Sheehan is unsure about the future of the tournament.
"The whole point of the tournament was to give students a chance to play soccer," he said. "It has been a huge success. But if they correct the application system and the schools are taking part in the Leinster cups, then I don't know if it will be feasible for them to play in an extra competition."