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Clonakilty Community College duo Whooley and Dollery impress on trial with Italian club Benevento

September 19th, 2023 3:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Clonakilty Community College duo Whooley and Dollery impress on trial with Italian club Benevento Image
Clonakilty Community College students Luke Dollery and Tom Whooley in Benevento jerseys while on trial with the Italian club.

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TWO talented Clonakilty Community College soccer stars caught the eye during a recent trial with Italian club Benevento.

Clonakilty teen Tom Whooley and Kilmurry’s Luke Dollery – both second-year students – were invited for a trial with the Serie C club having impressed at the inaugural Adriatic Cup in May.

Clonakilty Community College’s rising soccer stars rubbed shoulders with Italian soccer giants Lazio and Bologna in the inaugural competition earlier this year, securing a terrific third-place finish.

‘At that competition we were told that there would be scouts there and certain players would be asked to come back,’ explains Clonakilty CC teacher/soccer coach Stewart Dollery.

‘Fortunately, we had two who were selected for Benevento and Perugia. We are waiting for Perugia to organise their trial, while the two lads travelled to Benevento last week. They trained on Tuesday and Wednesday and played a game on Thursday.’

Striker Whooley caught the eye for West Cork at this year’s Kennedy Cup when he scored six goals and he also scored six times for his school at the Adriatic Cup, while Dollery plays in midfield, either as a six or an eight. Both Whooley and Dollery line out with Cobh Ramblers. The good news is that the initial feedback from Benevento was positive.

‘From what I heard, they did very well and both impressed. They had a fabulous time over there. What we are hoping for is that Benevento might bring them back periodically over the next few years,’ says Dollery, who is hopeful of bringing another Clonakilty Community College team back to Italy in 2024.

‘This is an opportunity for players in West Cork to show what they can do. A lot of really good players have come through in this region over the years but there hasn’t been a clear pathway or any way of being noticed, so hopefully this will provide some opportunity for some kids over the next few years.

‘For example, we have so many good players in the school, the likes of Conrad Murphy, Christos Delis, Nathan O’Sullivan, and a competition like this gives them all the platform to show just how good they are.’

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