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This Week's Aletto

Valley Lodge,  25th March

Letters: A S I L

Winner: Alison Deery Ward, 18 ONeill St, Carrickmacross 

Jackpot: Euro 2,300

Next week: Deery's

Jackpot: Euro 1,000


Carrick Rovers AFC are proud to confirm details for their second annual Easter Soccer Skills Camp in conjunction with Glasgow Celtic FC.

This follows on from a highly successful camp held last year which was attended by almost 70 young players from all over the North East Region.
The camp is open to all young people, both boys and girls and of all abilities in the region and will run in the first week of the Easter School Holidays beginning on Monday 14th April and finishing on Friday 18th April.
This Celtic Soccer Academy, as part of their International Partnership Programme is staffed by Celtic Football Club Coaches and works on aspects such as skill development, skill testing, small sided games and all in a fun filled atmosphere.

Cavan Shamrocks 2-3 Carrick Rovers
CMUL 13 Cup

Carrick Rovers 13's side made the early morning trip to Cavan Town on Sunday morning to take on newly crowned League Champions Cavan Shamrocks in a CMUL Cup semi-final. The hosts hadn't been beaten in the league all year and had represented the CMUL in the last 16 of the SFAI Cup only to be beaten by Castlebar Celtic, so this was always going to be a tough encounter. Cavan started the stronger keeping the Rovers defence of Sean McKenna, Oisin McEntee, Cian Maher and Kian Duffy on their toes early on and they got in behind the back line in the 5th minute but goalkeeper Larry McCloskey was alert to the danger and collected the ball comfortably. This was the spark for Rovers to start playing and they got to grips in midfield with Ethan O'Gorman and Andrew Moore forming a great partnership that set the tone for the rest of the team to build off. Jack McGeown and Sean Clarke on the wings where becoming more and more involved as the game advanced and they linked up well with the forward line of Oisin O'Hanlon and Donnach Swinburne.

Carrick Rovers 2-0 Clones Town
CMUL 18 John Sherlock Cup

John Sherlock Park in Cootehill was a fitting venue on Sunday evening for the Final of the Cup that was named in the memory of the Late John Sherlock. Carrick Rovers 18's had the opportunity to crown a fantastic year by achieving a Cup and League double if they could overcome a buoyant Clones Town side. The match was played in ideal conditions in a fabulous venue and both sides set out their stalls early on to play good attacking football with two different styles on show. Rovers started the brighter and had a lot of the early possession putting some good flowing moves together while Clones were always a threat on the counter-attack with their quick forward line giving the Rovers back line of Ryan Carolan, David Wilson, Colm McEvoy and Cian Matthews some nervous moments on the break. The 1st real opportunity came in the 7th minute when Matthews combined with Stephen Cunningham, who put David Garland away on the left wing and he flashed a terrific ball across the 6 yard box but there was nobody to get on the end of it. The next chance came Patrick Larney's way in the 19th minute when Jamie Berg got involved on the right wing before picking out Daniel McDonald on the edge of Clones penalty area. The striker rolled the ball into Larney's path but he failed to get a good connection on his shot and the keeper saved. Clones were a threat from the keepers delivery both from his hands and on the ground and in the 25th minute Mark Kieran in the Rovers goal had to be alert to rush of his line to gather the ball just ahead of a Clones player. Rob Berg and Cunningham in the middle of the field for Rovers were beginning to get on top and this meant that Carrick now had the majority of possession but Clones got men behind the ball and made it difficult for Rovers to break them down. The next effort came from centre-half Wilson when he won a tackle and he drove into midfield and with the ball sitting up he tried his luck from the half-way line, Wayne Rooney style but his shot sailed over the crossbar. Kevin Lambe was introduced for Jamie Berg on 35 minutes and slotted in on the Rovers right wing and within 4 minutes he was involved in creating Rovers best chance of the half. The move started in midfield with Rob Berg winning yet another tackle before picking out Larney who found Lambe , he picked out McDonald who slipped the ball into Larney's path and he slide the ball over to Garland inside the Clones area. The tricky winger was closed down quickly but he dropped his shoulder and lost his marker to leave him 1-v-1 with the keeper who spread himself magnificently to get something on the ball to save well.
Half-Time Carrick Rovers 0-0 Clones Town
Rovers for all their possession had nothing to show for their efforts and this encouraged Clones to come out of the blocks very sharply at the start of the 2nd half and within 2 minutes of the restart a bit of sloppiness at the back by Rovers gave them a sight of goal but Kieran was equal to the effort. Again a slip in concentration at the back by Carrick gave Clones another chance on 49 minutes and again Kieran was sharp to react and save. This was the wakeup call for Rovers and they began to get on top again. Padraig Marron who'd come on for McDonald just before half-time began to become an influence in midfield and Cunningham who'd gone right up top for Carrick gave the Clones defence a new problem to deal with. Although Rovers were dominating possession they weren't creating too many real clear-cut chances. Their main threat was coming down the left with Matthews and Garland linking up well to give the Clones defence some edgy moments. The deadlock was finally broken after 68 minutes when a quick break by Rovers saw the ball being played up to Larney who fed a great ball into Cunningham's path and he laid a great lay-off to Lambe on the edge of the area on the left hand side. The winger caressed a sweet right foot shot beyond the keeper, who stood motionless, as the ball rippled the into the far corner of the net. This was what Rovers play had deserved but the game was far from over and Clones reacted as any good team should by coming at Carrick trying to restore parity but the next chance came Rovers way as again Cunningham caused all sorts of confusion in the Clones area and when the ball fell to Lambe again his thunderous shot had goal written all over it only for the keeper to dive full length to his left to finger-tip the ball around the upright. Clones committed more men forward now and had Rovers pressed inside their own half for long spells, forcing numerous corner kicks that threaten the Carrick goals at times but the Rovers defence stood strong. In the 79th minute Clones got in behind the Rovers rearguard and Kieran again had to make himself big to smother the danger. In the 83rd minute the game was eventually made save when after great approach work involving Carolan and Lambe the ball came to Garland on the edge of the area and he showed a great piece of magic to release Larney who coolly slotted home. Kevin Quinn came in for Garland for the last few minutes to shore up the Rovers defence.
Full Time Carrick Rovers 2-0 Clones Town
Team: Mark Kieran, Ryan Carolan, David Wilson, Colm McEvoy, Cian Matthews, Jamie Berg, Rob Berg, Stephen Cunningham, Patrick Larney, Daniel McDonald, David Garland, Kevin Lambe, Kevin Quinn, Steven Lynagh, Thomas Finnegan and Liam McGeough.

Carrick Rovers began their 2013/14 campaign up against the best and brightest players in their region. With 5 new players joining the ranks in their first full season with the team Rovers were undaunted and unwavering in their pursuit of progress improvement. Rovers faced tough opposition starting away to Drumkill who were ruthless and unforgiving in their play. Difficult games against Monaghan United and Clones Town ensued. Rovers suffered heavy defeats but showed great heart and determination against their more experienced and accomplished counterparts. Aidan Rahill began his season well and was the team's best player in the opening games, bursting through tackles in midfield and driving forward. Aidan also played his part at right midfield, finding great width in the play and also played up front. The strongest element of Aidan's game is his ability on the ball but unfortunately this season much of the play was without the ball. Aidan often found himself trying to cover too many options in defence but was never found wanting for effort. Adam Lynagh spent most of the season at centre back alongside his tireless team captain, Dylan McEneaney. Adam found himself in a new role towards the later stages of the season at right back allowing him to express his more creative side with his passing going forward and also providing solid cover in defence. This season Adam has shown he posses good passing ability, composure on the ball, good feet, has a strong shot and is getting stronger in the air.

Killian Markey, in his first season with the team and also one of the team's top performers this season, demonstrated his tremendous attitude in his commitment to win the ball back for his team at every opportunity. Killian will surely put fear into the next generation of strikers plying their trade as even I would not like to be caught in a 50/50 challenge with this young man. Cormac O'Hanlon ever present in the team and vice captain for the year gave endless running up and down the left touchline. He has become stronger and quicker and has more than a few strings to his bow, playing in not less than four positions this year including left back, left midfield, centre back and impressive performances in centre midfield. Indeed not the only versatile player with many players adapting to at least two or more positions throughout the season. Dylan McEneaney showed great promise in midfield, using his footballing brain to snuff out the opposition threat and play his team out of trouble. His organisation and eye for danger led to most of his season being played in the centre of defence which was no doubt of great benefit to Killian in his first season. Breffni Henry stood firm between the posts all season, making several good saves early in the season and improving on his kickouts, often using quickness of mind to play the ball out short from the back. Understandably his confidence seemed to dip midseason but could not be blamed for the concession of goals conceded, and infact probably made more saves than any other keeper in the league this season, often bringing out a round of applause from the sideline support on both teams.

CMUL 15-1

Eoghan Dillan endured a difficult season troubled with injury, but showed improvement all round in his tackling, movement and running when he took to the field. With another season or two under his belt I am very hopeful this young man can take advantage of his tall frame and long strides, already very calm on the ball once his confidence comes and with a little more belief he can become a great asset to his team. Conor O'Rourke, also ever present this season, provided one of the highlights of the season as he dribbled down the left flank and squared a deft ball square from the edge of the box behind everyone only for the late run of one of his team mates to run onto and slot home an excellent goal, made look easy by the technically gifted Aidan Rahill. In his first game up front Conor was outstanding, against Clones Town, coming on in the last 15 minutes he breached the opposition defence clean open with his forward runs, made all the more admirable as Rovers found it difficult to penetrate the Clones Town defence prior to his introduction. Again, with a little bit more belief, there is a big part for Conor to play, often getting into great positions and good at closing down the opposition, just lacking the confidence to commit to the tackle. However, with many games being played on astro this year it can be understood the reluctance to go to ground in a tackle where the loss of skin is inevitable.
Fionnan Cassidy played most of his football in left midfield this season and also slotted into the center to get the ball moving. Although reluctant to track back Fionnans touch is easily the envy of all his teammates with the ability to turn inside or outside. More importantly he always showed to receive the ball, a vital attribute for any young footballer. It was a difficult learning curve as Fionnan favours to take on his opponent but against physically stronger and quicker opposition the space is closed down quickly and often in numbers. Where Fionnan could ghost past one on two players, the opposition would seek out the threat and surround in numbers, but to his credit he began to trust in his pass and try to play his way through the opposition. With a little bit more guile and better decision making, which will naturally come with experience, Fionnan can torture opposition for years to come. Steven Carville showed fantastic potential inside Fionnan at centre midfield early season and was sorely missed during a 7 week period in which he was absent while he recovered from a broken collar bone. Steven has the potential to be the complete midfielder, passion, skill, drive, all evident in his play. His passing is simple and effective, his tackling is strong, his positioning is more often than not spot on and he is a box to box midfielder. The next few years will be crucial to his footballing development and if he can commit to training and find consistency in his game he will prosper in any team he plays with.
Euan Matthews alternated between right back and right midfield throughout the season, playing his best football on the side of midfield. One of the most pleasing aspects of his game is seeing the efforts and determination on his face as he constantly closes down the opposition and works hard to carry the ball forward for his team. Undoubtedly he provides great defensive cover for his full back, tracking back and blocking off the opposition attacks. Composed on the ball he continues to play football in the right way and with a little more ball control and agility in possession he can be a highly effective player for his team. Sebastian Enache also strutted his stuff on the side of midfield, although his preferred position is up front. Another composed and calm customer on the ball Sebastian was rarely rushed in possession and made great strides in his first season with the club. His first goal for the club is one to remember, picking the loose ball up outside the box and placing a lovely shot into the corner of the net past a helpless keeper. Due to the strength of the opposition Sebastian was often deployed on the side of midfield, allowing him to become more involved in the game. A difficult first season but always conscious of his performance and desire to improve it is a joy to watch Sebastian play. His passion can be summed up with that one question he asks every time he is substituted, "Will I be going back on?". No matter the result or the conditions. Always brings a smile to the managers face.
Jordan Whyte, the seasons top goalscorer and also in his first full season, was one of the most exciting players to watch all season. In his first game up front in a friendly against Newtown he was like a dog with a bone and with pace to burn. On more than one occasion he left the defence in his wake with his blistering pace and ran like the wind. Getting in behind the defence, his first goal came as he raced into the 6 yard box after a 30 yard run and scuffed his shot into the bottom left corner from 4 yards out. Sheer determination willed the ball into the net. With opportunities at a premium in the CMUL premier league it was difficult at times for Jordan to put his stamp on the game, but when he got half a chance to run in behind the defence you just knew there was no catching him and, to add to that, he was clinical. Over the course of the season you could see his technique improve, his shooting range increased, his ball control improving and his movement was better, all of which benefited from his work on the training grounds. He almost took the ball him with an incredible second half performance against Cootehill away where he was unlucky not to score a hat-trick, scoring a brace, the first of which was a dipping shot with the outside of his boot from just outside the area after only 17 seconds into the second half. Shortly after he got his second and the team rallied to get an equalizer after coming out of the first half 3 nil down. Thwarted by a magnificent save, the Cootehill goalkeeper denied Rovers parity as Jordan once again slipped through the defence and took his time to place a well struck effort into the bottom left of the goals. Hopefully Jordan can continue his good progress in the coming seasons and can practice honing his skills against more evenly matched opposition.
Josh Murtagh, another new member to the team playing in his first season, was unfortunate not to get more game time than he did throughout the season but showed some good touches up front and though he has some work to do on his ball skills always got his head up to try and find a pass. Josh worked hard in the face of top tier adversary and at times unfairly faced the brunt of his teams frustration, but a consistent presence in training he continued to work hard and found solace in his final game of the season with a strong performance coming on at left back, making a number of strong tackles and showing his ability to be a team player.

In a turbulent and frustrating season these young players showed great enthusiasm for the game, turning up and giving their best each week with little reward for their efforts. Lesser players would lack the mental strength to continue where these players excelled. This is not a team that enjoyed losing nor took defeats lightly, especially some of the more experienced players of the squad who have winners written in their DNA. It's a fact that no player goes unbeaten in their career and some defeats are harder to take than others, but I hope this season will allow these players to build on and go on to win many matches and medals in the future. If I could give each of them a medal for being heroes I would!

As I sign off on possibly my final season as manager of this team, I thank the players and wish them well in the future and hope that one day I MIGHT have the privilege of playing alongside them at senior level. Either way I will be following their sporting career keenly.
I would also like to thank the parents and supporters for their help throughout the year, thanks to Eamonn Dilan for his help on the sideline, thanks to David McSharry for taking training sessions and thanks to all the younger players in the club, Cathal O'Rourke, Tiernan McCourt, Jamie King, Eoin Duffy, Donnach Swinburne, for stepping up to the 15's squad when needed.

CMUL 15-2

BR, L-R Adam Lynagh, Aidan Rahill, Jordan Whyte, Killian Markey, Eoghan Dilan, Euan Matthews, Cormac O'Hanlon
FR, L-R Fionnan Cassidy, Breffni Henry, Sebastian Enache, Conor O'Rourke, Josh Murtagh, Dylan McEneaney
Steven Carville (Absent)



Carrick Rovers 2-3 Monaghan United

On Saturday afternoon Carrick Rovers 14's entertained newly crowned CMUL 14's League Champion's Monaghan United on the Ballybay Road. The two sides had met only 3 weeks previous it what had been a fantastic advertisement for juvenile soccer with Monaghan coming out on top by the smallest margin. With this in mind, this was always going to be a close affair and that was the way it panned out. Rovers were first on the attack with Cillian Gartland up front always the willing runner and Bendera and Tadg Callaghan on the wings always looking to receive possession and take on their markers.

Blayney Rovers 1-1 Carrick Rovers
Carrick Rovers 18's side were crowned CMUL 18's Champions on Friday evening in John Sherlock Park, Cootehill after a tense and hard earned draw with local rivals Blayney Rovers. The 1st half was evenly contested with Carrick just shading it on chances but the Blayney Goalkeeper was in inspired form saving on numerous occasions. David Garland was the 1st to test him after a jinxing run that took him past two Blayney players before rifling in a left foot shot that the keeper got down to smother. Patrick Larney was the next to chance his luck from distance but again the stopper was equal to his effort. Garland warmed his fingers twice more but again the keeper was proving unbeatable. Stephen Cunningham had a header cleared of the line just before half-time and Padraig Marron shot just wide to leave the game scoreless at the interval.
Half-time Blayney Rovers 0-0 Carrick Rovers
The 2nd half started in a similar fashion with Carrick shading the possession and the chances but the Blayney defence was giving very little away and when they did again the keeper was there to thwart the Carrick forward line. Again Garland weaved his magic to create an opportunity for himself but again the keeper came out on top in this personnel dual. Ronan McDonald tried his luck and flashed a shot wide of the upright before smashing another effort goal bound but again the keeper excelled. Blayney were always a threat on the counter-attack and the Rovers defence of Ryan Carolan, Rob Berg, Colm McEvoy and Cian Matthews had to be on their toes to prevent Blayney from opening the score. Stephen Cunningham was becoming more and more of an influence in midfield and the forward line of Larney, Garland, McDonald and Steven Lynagh were excellent in possession and their movement had Blayney troubled at times. The deadlock was eventually broke midway through the 2nd half after a great move involving Matthews and Garland down the Carrick left wing and Garland's cross was volleyed home by Ronan McDonald from just outside the 6 yard box. Rovers lead didn't last long as within 5 minutes Blayney leveled after a quick breakaway put a Blayney player 1-v-1 with Mark Kieran in the Carrick goal and he cleverly lifted the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net to restore parity. Rovers pushed for a winner after this but again the Blayney defence and especially their keeper were rock solid. Rovers efforts weren't helped when substitute David Wilson was shown 2 yellow cards late on and despite both teams efforts the score remained the same which meant that the point was enough for Carrick to be crowned CMUL 18's Champions 2013/14 in their 1st year in the League and a Cup Final to look forward to as well.
Team Mark Kieran, Ryan Carolan, Rob Berg, Colm McEvoy, Cian Matthews, Steven Lynagh, Stephen Cunningham, Padraig Marron, Patrick Larney, Ronan McDonald, David Garland, Jamie Berg, Liam McGeough, Daniel McDonald and Kevin Quinn.
CMUL 18's

Carrick Rovers 2-2 Robinstown
Carrick Rovers 16's squad earned a good point on Saturday morning against a well organised and motivated Robinstown side in a NECSL encounter in Carrickmacross. The game started evenly enough with both sides feeling each other out with probing moves without either keeper being tested early on. Thomas Duane in the Rovers nets was organizing his defense of Darragh Markey, Killian McNally, Ronan Connolly and Conall Rooney in front of him and Shane Finnegan and Oisin Marron in central midfield were forming a great barrier just in front of them and also putting Carrick on the attack at times.

During the recent mid-term School break, Carrick Rovers 14's player, Oisin McEntee , made a return to Manchester, to be hosted by the great Manchester United Football Club. Oisin departed Dublin on Monday 17th February, along with another Irish Youngster from Waterford as well as the United representative in Ireland. On arriving in Manchester the group settled into their hotel before being entertained that evening by United Academy personnel. The real business started on Tuesday with a gruelling training session in the morning where Oisin and a group of hopefuls from all over Europe as well as the rest of The World, were put through their paces. In the afternoon the group played a friendly against a Preston North End 15's Academy side, where Oisin played the majority of the game and although finishing on the losing side was happy with his own display. The next day saw more intensive training sessions as well as some free recreational time in the afternoon and then the group played a United Academy 14's side where again Oisin played the whole match in an unusual right back position for him, which he quickly adapted to and felt comfortable in. The Academy side ran out winners but the next morning the 2 sides met again and this time though 2 – 0 with only minutes to play, the side that Oisin was playing with responded by scoring 2 late goals to earn a draw. Oisin travelled back to Dublin with his companions that afternoon very satisfied with his few days in Manchester with United. The Club now awaits the next developments in Oisin's career and wish him the best of luck in the future.

Ballyjamesduff 3-1 Carrick Rovers

An under- strength Carrick Rovers 14's side made the long trip to last year's League and Cup winners Ballyjamesduff on Saturday morning. Due to suspensions and absentees Rovers had to call on Larry McCloskey from the 13's to take his place in goals and he was to have a fantastic game between the posts. The home team started the stronger and it was backs to the wall for Rovers in the opening 15 minutes but the defence of Rhys Jones , Dillon Finnegan, Tiarnan O'Riordain and Cathal O'Rourke limited BJD to long distance shooting and Jared Wenham and Tiarnan McCourt just in front of them formed a great shield and both put in a great shift, chasing down balls and hassling BJD players every time they were in possession.


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