Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dream Trip to Ireland for Boston U14 Gaelic Footballers

Excitement is building on both sides of the Atlantic as 24 local boys are bound for Ireland next week to compete in the annual Feile na nGael.  Kids and parents, and relatives in Ireland alike, are keyed up for what will be a trip of a lifetime.  The kids have the unique opportunity to play Gaelic football on Irish soil against Irish teams, an experience that will stay with the players for a long time.  It is the first time that a team from Boston has traveled to play in the famous competition for age Under-14 players since 2008.  The players have been practicing since last October under the watchful eyes of Martin Kerr, Noel Gannon, Paddy McCusker and Pat O’Malley.  Players from all 3 of the Boston area underage clubs have been joined by players based in Springfield and Portland Maine, who have made the multi-hour journey from Western Mass. and Maine to attend the practice sessions and challenge games. 

Exciting Trip Awaits this Group of U14 Footballers

Ballymacelligott, just outside Tralee in County Kerry, is the host club, and word is that a lot of preparation has been underway.  The Boston boys will be paired up and will spend 2 nights of the trip with a host family in Kerry.  Needless to say, the players involved are excited as well as nervous with the prospect of playing in Ireland against local kids and Warwickshire who are traveling from England.   The hope is that this group of players will be the first of an annual trip to the competition from Boston and that the experience these kids have will be one that other Boston and New England area kids will have.

On Friday June 24 the team plays Warwickshire at Ballumacelligott at 5:45, followed by a game against Kerry team, Athea at 6:30.  It is back at it on Saturday at 9:45 in the morning against Limerick.  Quarter finals are at 2:00 Saturday afternoon, with semi-finals and final on Sunday.

Presentation of kitbags by Dermot Quinn of Greenhills Bakery.
A person who deserves special mention, and without whom this endeavor would not have been possible, is Laura Corbin.  Laura has been tireless in organizing fundraising activities, setting up and updating the Facebook page, and being the primary point person for the folks in Ireland and the parents involved on this side of the Atlantic with updates and information.   
Everybody involved would like to thank all of our sponsors, including the Greenhills Bakery and Feeney Brothers who sponsored kit bags and jerseys, and the many people who have supported fundraising efforts over the last several months. 

The players traveling are:   ISYL - Lawrence Byrne, Devin Corbin, Aidan Flanagan, Gerard Gannon, Michael Kerr, Conan McCusker, Eoin Morissey, Patrick Moylan, Dylan Murtagh, James Newell, Colm O’Malley, Aidan O’Malley, Eoin Walsh.  Wolfe Tones, Springfield - Cathal Carney, Neil O’Sullivan. Trinity Milton – Eoin Faherty, Colm Faherty, Darragh Jordan, Nessan O’Donnell, Aidan Skillen.  St. Brendan’s – Kian Hanbury, Sean Hobbs, James O’Neill.  Maine – Frank Tierney.

By Rory O'Donnell

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