Rising star Whooley adds more silverware to growing collection with Paudie Palmer Youth quarterly award

August 30th, 2023 11:00 AM

By Kieran McCarthy

Clonakilty’s Tom Whooley, winner of a Paudie Palmer West Cork Sports Star Youth quarterly award, pictured with his parents Daragh and Jane and his brothers Cillian and Aidan.(Photo: Martin Walsh)

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TOM Whooley is as cool and composed off the pitch as he is on it.

When the Clonakilty teenager (14) accepted the Paudie Palmer West Cork Sports Star Youth quarterly award at the Celtic Ross Hotel recently, he impressed everyone in attendance with his acceptance speech.

Tom came prepared and he delivered, like this multi-talented teen does in all his sports.

Here, he was honoured for his central role in the West Cork Academy’s best-ever finish at the Kennedy Cup, as well as representing Ireland U14 schoolboys team – and scoring a goal – at the Celtic Cup. Great times for the Ardfield FC rising star.

‘I am very proud and honoured to be chosen for an award like this,’ Tom told The Southern Star, before talk turned to his six-goal showing at the Kennedy Cup, as he fired West Cork to a brilliant third-place finish. It was an incredible week in UL for this young band of players who will forever be connected by their heroics in Limerick.

‘It was a great experience, I definitely made friends for life out of it,’ Tom said.

‘We knew we would give it our best shot, we were underdogs going up there but we knew we had a good team that was capable of doing something special, so to finish third is a big achievement for us.’

Tom Whooley received his award from Neil Grant, general manager of the Celtic Ross Hotel. Also included are, from left, Kieran McCarthy (sports editor, The Southern Star) and John Paul McNamara (C103).

Of Tom’s six goals, his favourite was his clinical effort against Donegal in the quarter-finals.

‘I could see how everyone was sprinting hard, so I knew if I stopped, and cut back it could create space,’ he explained – and he produced a terrific left-foot finish to shake the net.

West Cork Academy Director of Football DJ Curtin has described Tom as ‘a really special player’, and his development in the West Cork Academy underlines not just his potential, but also the quality in West Cork. In his acceptance speech Tom was quick to praise his team-mates, coaches and family for their roles in his success. Like we said, he’s as impressive off the pitch as he is on it.

  • The West Cork Sports Star Awards is run by the Celtic Ross Hotel, The Southern Star and C103.

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