Carrick Rovers U13 Player @ Kennedy Cup
Carrick Rovers Under 13 player David Wilson was part of the NECSL Under 13 Emerging Talent squad that travelled to the UCL Complex in Limerick, to take part
The Kennedy Cup is a prestigious tournament for the cream of Under 13 Regional Representative Squads with 32 panels taking part. Started in 1976 the event attracts huge crowds to watch the matches with scouts from a lot of the English Premiership clubs present trying to identify the stars of the future. The competition ran from the 21st to 25th June, with the 32 squads divided into 8 groups of 4, seeded on previous years performances in the tournament. The NECSL were drawn in a group with Waterford, South Tipperary and West Cork. The first game for the NECSL squad saw them taking on South Tipperary on the evening of the 21st. The NECSL team were too strong for the Tipperary lads and they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners to get them off to a good start. The next morning they had to face the top-seeds in the group Waterford, who had beaten West Cork the evening before with a late goal. The Waterford lads started brightly and used their greater physical strength to put the NECSL defence under pressure. A pass from the backline was flicked on in midfield and the Waterford forward smashed the ball to the top corner of the net from outside of the box, to put them 1-0 up and in control at this point. This might have knocked a lot of teams but the NECSL lads really started to come more and more into the game at this point and created a few good chances. A great run down the left by Newtown's Daire Roe, cut the Waterford defence open and his accurate cross found the on running striker to side-foot the ball to the corner of the net. It was 1-1 at half-time and although the NECSL had the better chances, it remained that score at full-time.
That afternoon the NECSL had to face West Cork knowing that a win by a good margin would leave them topping the group and into the Cup Competition itself. David who hadn't started the previous games, got his chance in an unaccustomed right back role. He settled well from the start looking comfortable on the ball and trying to link the play from defence to attack with some quality passing. The NESCL were the better team but some solid defence and some poor final passes meant it was 0-0 at half-time. It was a repeat after the restart with NECSL having more of the play and eventually they got their reward when Daire Roe found the Cork net. With Waterford winning well on the pitch beside them, the NECSL knew they had to score more goals but even though they won a penalty, which was saved, they couldn't add to the score.This put them into the Bowl Competition and the next day they meet local rivals The Dundalk Schoolboys League. Again David started this game and clearly the manner in which they had lost the Group on goal difference, had an effect on the teams performance, with the Dundalk lads punishing every mistake to win 5-1. The next day they met a very strong NDSL team and again David played his part, although the Dublin lads won the game 7-0. The NECSL squad finished up their tournament that evening with against the Cork City team and although they were beaten 3-0, it was a much improved display. Waterford went onto play the DDSL in the next round and after a 1-1 draw were beaten on penalties. The DDSL went onto win the Kennedy Cup for the 7th year in a row.
Talking to David on his return he said that he enjoyed his experience and was happy to get a chance to play football at such a high level as this tournament.
On behalf of all David's Team-mates, the Under 13 management and Carrick Rovers Football Club, we are proud of David's achievements and look forward to him back playing in the new season.