A NEW season of SuperValu West Cork Schoolboys and Schoolgirls League (WCSSL) soccer kicked off last weekend.
The 2022 WCSSL campaign will be one of the biggest ever to be contested in the rural region. A record 93 teams are taking part in the U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U15 and U16 age-grades and will compete for league, cup and shield trophies between April and November.
The U10 (mixed, schoolboys and schoolgirls) and U11 (schoolboys) grades are developmental leagues only. Results will not be recorded and players will be encouraged to have fun and enjoy their first experiences of WCSSL soccer.
Three schoolgirls age-grades will also be contested in 2022 with Castlelack, Drinagh Rangers, Kilgoban Celtic (formerly Bantry Bay Rovers), Riverside Athletic and Sullane entering the U12 Schoolgirls Premier League.
Each of those aforementioned clubs, bar Sullane, and Skibbereen make up the U14 Schoolgirls Premier. Bunratty, Castlelack, Drinagh, Kilgoban and Riverside are this year’s U16 Schoolgirls Premier entrants.
Sixteen teams will take part in this season’s U12 Schoolboys Premier and Championship Leagues (eight teams in each). There will be 13 teams involved in the U13 age-grade’s Premier and Championship Leagues and 11 teams split across the U14 grade’s equivalent competitions.
Encouragingly, Ardfield, Castlelack, Clonakilty AFC, Drinagh, Kilgoban, Kilmichael, Riverside, Skibbereen and Togher are the nine clubs contesting this year’s U15 Premier League. There will be eight clubs in this season’s U16 Premier League including Bunratty United and Sullane.
Clonakilty AFC and Togher Celtic had the honour of kicking off the 2022 SuperValu WCSSL season on Easter Saturday. An U12 Championship League fixture went Togher’s way with the visitors travelling to Ballyvackey and recording a 3-1 win.
Michael Collins found the net for Clonakilty but a Patrick Crowley hat-trick was enough to earn Celtic their first U12 Championship three points of the new campaign. Anna Carey, Jack Allen, Eolann Coakley and Tom Antoine stood out for the hosts. Sammy O’Mahony, Kelly Ann Buttimer, Tadgh O’Farrell and Patrick Crowley were the pick of the winners best players.
Togher’s U16s were in action on Easter Monday, travelling to Canon Crowley Park for a U16 Premier League meeting with Drinagh Rangers. The home side emerged 3-1 winners thanks to an own goal and additional Luke Shorten and Eoin Hurley strikes. Conor McCarthy replied for a Celtic side Conor Horgan, Shane O’Sullivan, Daniel O’Sullivan and Brian O’Sullivan impressed. Eoin Hurley, Caolan O’Driscoll, Paraic Hegarty and Ben Coughlan shone for Rangers.
Meanwhile, West Cork’s Academy ETP squads experienced contrasting fortunes over the Easter weekend. Eamonn Bradfield’s U12 squad were unlucky to lose 1-0 away to the Cork Schoolboys League in the SFAI Munster U12 inter-league.
There was better news for the WCSSL U13 Academy squad on Easter Monday. A solitary Milo Kinsella strike helped West Cork defeat the Clare Schoolboys League 1-0 in the SFAI Munster U13 inter-league. It took a real team effort to overcome Clare in a fixture West Cork’s Darragh Kelleher, Christos Delis and goal scorer Kinsella stood out.