Northend United Youth Chairperson Johnny Sayers and U15 Manager Brian McCluney were guests of the Irish FA this week in Belfast.
The Club was honoured to receive not only the 1-star award but also among a small elite band of Clubs having received 2-Star Club Excellence Mark also.
Presenting the awards to the Club was none other than Northern Ireland manager, Michael O’Neill. Northend Club Chairperson, Johnny Sayers used the event to renew his friendship with Michael, having coached him many years ago as a young man at All Saints in Ballymena.
The Northend Ireland Manager and Northend stalwart used the time to catch up on old memories with the Northern Ireland Manager promising to drop in on Northend’s training night, when his diary allows.
“Michael was a pleasure to coach and at such a young age” stated Johnny “and you could see he was destined for higher things.
“I’m delighted he will take time to visit one of our training nights next season”
On the playing front, the U13s who finished off their season with three matches in one week, with two wins and a draw and finishing a creditable sixth place in the Lisburn Youth League.
Northend United 1, Lurgan Town 6: Northend weren’t up to their usual standards and they were punished against top quality opposition, despite Jay McKeown cancelling out an early Lurgan goal.
Northend lost their goalkeeper, George McClean, to injury for 20 minutes and Ben Adams bravely stepped in deputise.
Northend: G McClean, B Adams, Z Erwin, C McAvoy, B O’Neill, S O’Broin, J McKeown, K Wakefield, B Bell, J Magill.
Northend United 0, Lisburn Ladies 3: Lisburn Ladies were two years older than the Ballymena boys and with four internationals in their staring line up there was some quality evident.
Northend: C Wilson, D McKay, J Adams, D Magill, T Mitchell, K Cosgrove, J McIlhatton, O Campbell, K Barr, L Hector and C McMurray.
Northend Youth 1, Ballycastle United 3: It looked as though Sam Crawford’s superb volley for Northend was going to take this semi-final to extra time before two late Ballycastle goals.
Northend: Gabriel Farias, Sam Crawford, Jack Connor, Niall Devine, Andre Pescaru, Ben Harkin, Ciaran Martin, Cal O’Brien, Kacper Dziadkowiec, Alex Bell.
Northend United 4, Lisburn Ladies 0: After a midweek defeat by Camlough Rovers and a 6-0 win over Loughgall, Northend took on Lisburn Ladies in their final game of the season and were 3-0 up at half-time through Ciaran Campbell (2) and Ryan McQuillan, while Ronan McKillop added a fourth in the second half.
Northend: J Morrow, J Montgomery, R McKillop, H Wylie, P Ferris, C Campbell, C McGaughey, A Campbell, P Esler, R McQuillan, J Casey
TTBS 2, Northend 1: Northend’s last competitive fixture of the season ended in defeat, despite a Jude Currie goal.
Northend: J McCalmont, M Stewart, C Forsythe, L Rea, J Coates, C Metrustry, J Dallas, R McMullan, D Robinson, J Currie, C McDonald
Wakehurst 1, Hillsborough 1: In a tight game, it was disappointing for Wakehurst when Hillsborough took the lead through a fortunate free kick. With 15 minutes left Wakehurst got what they deserved when James O’Loughlin beat his man and sent over a cross to the back post, where McCluney was waiting to tap in.
Wakehurst: J Stevenson, J Penny, B Millar, A Shaw, D Dobbin, J O’Loughlin, J Fleming, A Campbell, B McGarvey, T Barr, J Houston, R McCluney.