BY GER McCARTHY
TRAFASK National School from Adrigole is making plans for a return to the Aviva Stadium and another shot at the SPAR FAI Primary School 5’s National Programme finals.
The rural West Cork school safely negotiated regional, county and provincial qualifiers over recent weeks. As a result, Trafrask has qualified for the national finals of the annual SPAR five-a-side soccer tournament for the second year in a row.
It is a remarkable achievement for such a small school where principal Louisa O’Donoghue and teacher Paula O’Sullivan’s encouragement and guidance has once again reaped dividends.
Team coach Aidan Cremin has played a pivotal role in helping a dedicated group of players emerge as Cork county champions and is busily preparing for a second trip to the Aviva Stadium in as many years.
‘Naturally, there is great excitement around Trafask National School and Adrigole itself on reaching the Aviva once again,” Cremin said.
‘Last time we travelled up the night before and it was a fantastic event. The organisers really make a big deal about all the teams that qualify and our lads had a brilliant time. Everyone is getting really excited now.
‘May 29th is the date for this year’s SPAR National finals in Dublin. Last year we had ten players on the panel but you are only allowed name and tog out eight. The two who missed out are playing this time around and will get their chance to play at the Aviva which is brilliant for them.’
The annual SPAR 5s tournaments are organised for national schools throughout the country and split into three categories A, B and C. Category A is for schools with 30 boys or less and across fourth, fifth and sixth classes. The categories are further split into up to 60 boys and 60 boys plus.
This year, Trafrask overcame Ballinacarriga NS from Dunmanway, Shanballymore NS and Glenahulla NS from Mitchelstown to win a third county title in a row at Turner’s Cross.
That qualified the Adrigole school for another Munster finals appearance in which Trafrask took on Tipperary side Mullinahone in the decider. It finished 1-1 after extra-time before the West Cork team held their nerve in a lengthy penalty shootout.
Now, another visit to the home of Irish international rugby and soccer awaits a talented Trafrask team.
The Trafask National School (Adrigole) squad includes Tom O’Connor (captain), Jack Crowley, Liam Crowley, Mark Downing, Donagh O’Sullivan, Kevin O’Sullivan, Cillian O’Sullivan, Austin Harrington and Daniel Mason.