Ballymena United under-9s rounded off a successful season for the club’s Youth Academy by winning the Maiden City Cup in the north west at the weekend.
The 2007 group under the coaching of ex United favourite John McDowell and Mark Shields have been an ever improving group this season.
Training and playing regularly, the boys have quietly continued to learn the fundamentals of the game, much of their coaching based around the Coerver principles implemented by the Academy fully over the last couple of seasons.
It was a memorable Saturday for the boys and coaches, all those training nights paid off as the lads clinched the silverware on the day to follow up recent trophy successes for the clubs under 10’s,11’s and under 13’s.
The under 9’s defeated Hillsborough Youth, Ballymoor and the always impressive Tri star to race through the group stages.
In the quarter final they defeated Dungiven 1-0 to set up a semi final clash with their Coleraine counterparts.
It proved a close affair, but the sky blues edged home on penalties to face Oxford Utd in the final.
United flew out of the blocks and a final score of 4-1 saw the under 9’s secure their first trophy having faced some top class sides on the day.
More importantly the group implemented all the technical work they have learned over the winter and each boy has developed in every aspect of his play over the last nine months.