Northend United, the progressive Ballymena Club, had four teams entered in this year’s Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup tournament last week.
Played in some severe heat conditions, Northend U10s, U12s, U15s and U16s had an outstanding week in the top youth tournament, with three of the teams, U12s, U15s and U16s competing in their respective Rosebowl finals.
A delighted Northend United Chairman, Johnny Sayers was full of praise for the performance of the young teams. He went on to express his thanks to the team managers
and coaches, team sponsors, parents and players, who made the long journey to the Maiden City on a daily basis.
The highlight of the week was the U16s outstanding success in the Rosebowl tournament where they beat Tristar FC in the final, after overcoming Limavady United in the semi-final.
In a final match played in Sion Mills, the Ballymena side turned on the style before FAI elect National Team Manager, Stephen Kenny, whose son was playing for Tristar FC. Stephen McLees and Oliver Byrne’s side worked hard not only to compete at this level but also to bring silverware home, with goals from Adam Steele (2), Ciaran Martin and Connor McAuley clinching a tense final.
Northend’s U12s team, under the direction of Alex McDonald, Pete Jamnicky and Jason Johnston, also battled hard all week to reach their respective Rosebowl final, also against Derry/Londonderry based side, Tristar FC. However, the young Northend team came up short with a 1-2 scoreline in this final.
This young team left their mark on the Foyle Cup all week, with some top performances and none more than an opening day 3-3 derby draw with NIBFA Cup finalists, Ballymena United.
In a hat-trick of finals in this season’s Foyle Cup, the U15s also reached their respective Rosebowl final, where they came up short against East Donegal Schoolboys, losing by a 1-2 scoreline. Uel Magill, Johnny Hector and Robert Adams team turned in some notable performances throughout the week, including a 3-1 win over North American based side, Inter Revolution USA.
Finally, the Club’s youngest team in the tournament, the U10s, spent the week lodging in Buncrana before playing a total of 9 matches throughout the competition. Mark Crawford and Ryan Da Prato’s young team thoroughly enjoyed their week, battling through to finish 35th out of 72 teams and finishing 4 th in their respective Rosebowl competition.
A delighted Johnny Hector summed up the sentiments of all the coaches adding: “All the team coaches would like to take this opportunity to thank the players and parents and grandparents who travelled all week to vocally support the teams, without their help, the week wouldn’t have been possible. We can’t wait for next year’s tournament to begin!”
Fielding no less than 20 youth teams for the incoming football season, ranging in age from U7 to U18/19, with the majority of these teams playing in the Daily Mirror Lisburn Youth League, all the Northend United teams are looking forward to getting back to pre-season training which starts on Monday, August 5 at the Ballymena Showgrounds. With a number of additions already to each of the teams, following a series of successful open training sessions, all at the Northend Blues are looking forward to a super season ahead.
Are you an ambitious individual, male or female, who is interested in taking the first step onto the football coaching ladder? If so, then Northend United is the Club for you.
This is an exciting period for our Club following our link with the Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and we are on the lookout for new talented coaches to join us. Due to on-going increases in player numbers, they plan to field a number of new teams for the 2019/20 season.
As a new coach, participants will embark on the Club’s ‘Coach Development Pathway’.
All initial enquiries should be made in the first instance to John Devlin on 07919 056834.