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West Cork U14s impress at Elite Smart Football Tournament in Catalonia

May 14th, 2024 10:30 AM

By Ger McCarthy

West Cork U14s impress at Elite Smart Football Tournament in Catalonia Image
Clonakilty AFC's Luke O'Neill celebrating one of his two goals for the West Cork Academy against Fusion Football Academy (Holland) at the 2024 Elite Smart Football Tournament in Catalonia.

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THE West Cork Academy’s U14 schoolboys’ squad intensified their Kennedy Cup preparations with a marvellous fifth overall placing at the Elite Smart Football Tournament in Catalonia.

Facing world-renowned academies at the four-day event near Barcelona, the coaching team of Eamon Bradfield, David Hall, DJ Curtin, Jack O’Sullivan, Pat Murphy and Shane Chambers oversaw a string of superb displays.

Given the high calibre of opposition, this was an important test ahead of West Cork’s trip to the University of Limerick in June.

Uslan HD (South Korea) proved too strong for West Cork in their opening group match, before a Luke O’Neill brace and Jack Allen effort cemented a 3-0 West Cork victory in their second outing against the Fusion Football Academy (Holland).

An experienced Girona overpowered West Cork in an early kick-off with the La Liga side chasing an improved goal difference to cement top spot in the group. Finishing third, the West Cork Academy lined out against League of Ireland club Shelbourne in the Elite Silver Cup semi-finals. A physical game ended scoreless but West Cork emerged 2-0 winners on penalties thanks to Charlie Curtin’s saves plus Jack Allen and Luke O’Neill’s conversions.

The Elite Silver Cup final pitted West Cork against Swedish club IFK Stocksund where a solitary Jack Allen effort cemented a 1-0 success. Oisin McCarthy was voted West Cork’s Player of the tournament.

‘This was a great opportunity for the boys to play against elite academies,’ West Cork Academy U14 School

West Cork celebrate defeating League of Ireland club Shelbourne on penalties.


boys head coach Eamon Bradfield told The Southern Star.

‘Having suffered a heavy defeat to the Koreans in our opening match, it was inspiring to see how the team pulled themselves together and put in an outstanding performance later that evening.

‘The cherry on top was our academy being awarded the tournament Fair Play award. There were lots of lessons learnt throughout the week which will stand to us as we prepare for the Kennedy Cup in six weeks’ time.’

Former Clonakilty AFC players Charlie Moore and Ethan O’Donovan played pivotal roles in Cobh Ramblers U14’s Valencia FIE Cup success in Spain. O’Donovan finished the tournament with eight goals while Charlie Moor provided five assists. Having topped the round-robin phase, Ramblers overcame La Liga club Getafe 3-0 in the semi-finals thanks to an O’Donovan hat-trick and two Moore assists. In the final, Cobh captured the trophy on penalties after a 1-1 draw with WSA Valencia.

Former Drinagh Rangers player Emma Hurley scored a penalty in Cork City Women’s FC U17’s 2-1 victory over CK United. Hurley was also involved in City’s 3-1 win at home to Kerry to move within five points of Group C leaders Waterford FC.

Rory Twohig (ex-Lyre Rovers) was in goal for Cork City’s 3-1 Group D victory over Kerry in Group D of the EA Sports U15 League of Ireland. In the same group, Luke Dollery’s (ex-Castlelack) Cobh Ramblers defeated CK United by the same scoreline.

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