BY DONAL O’SULLIVAN
THE good times keep on coming for rising Dunmanway Town soccer starlet Keith McCarthy.
Not long after picking up The Southern Star West Cork Schoolboys League U12 Division 1A Player of the Year Award, he has been selected to attend the SFAI U13 National Academy training in Dublin in October and December.
This recognition is no surprise when you consider that Keith was a driving force in the Dunmanway Town Cadets’ league title as he racked up an impressive 9 man-of-the-match awards in the process.
What makes this even more special is that it is his second year running receiving this player of the year accolade having won it the previous year with Togher Celtic. That’s an outstanding achievement for a young boy who won’t be 12 until late November.
His parents Johnny and Maighread and sister Ava are all hugely proud of what Keith is achieving.
‘Things can be very hectic at times. If it’s not soccer, athletics, tennis or football, then he is asking to play something else. We seem to be constantly on the road but we wouldn’t have it any other way. He just loves his sport,’ his mother Maighread explained.
August was the 12-month anniversary of the sad passing of Keith’s older brother Dylan.
‘Keith idolised Dylan and he had a huge bearing on what Keith is achieving at the moment. Dylan also played soccer for Togher, transferred to Dunmanway Town, was also part of the West Cork Emerging Talent Programme that Keith is currently in and went on to play Kennedy Cup. Keith aspires to reach this goal just like his brother did. You name it, Dylan played it, and Keith is exactly the same,’ Maighread said.
Keith’s love for athletics stretches back to when he joined the local Doheny Athletic Club when he was just seven years old. He was entered in an U9 race, ‘for the craic’, as his father puts it. Keith blitzed the field and his love for the sport has grown ever since. He has gone on to represent Cork in numerous events around the country. His list of achievements is quite astonishing, including national medals in cross-county, 600m and relay. His greatest love is long jump which has seen him win medals at West Cork, county and Munster levels.
A family highlight from last year came when he took part in the local Drinagh 5km where he was pitted against a familiar face. Both mother and son ‘competed’, which saw Keith finish as first juvenile home and an impressive fourth overall.
‘It was really special to complete that with him. The only issue now is I’ll have to put the wooden spoon away at home because he’s too fast for me’ joked Maighread.
Keith’s no slouch when it comes to GAA either it seems. having success with local club Sam Maguires. He also played a vital role for the Derrinacahara NS team that won the Sciath na Scol final after a ten-year gap. He kicked 4-5 in their 6-9 to 3-9 win against Kilcoe NS.
Busy times indeed but Keith wouldn’t have it any other way.