THE West Cork Schoolboys League requires a permanent base if they are to continue progressing at SFAI Inter-League level, according to WCSL Galway Cup manager Danny McQueen.
The Drinagh Rangers clubman oversaw the region’s U13’s finish seventh overall at this year’s Galway Cup but has warned the region will be left behind other schoolboy leagues unless a training and playing base is secured.
‘In terms of progression, the West Cork Schoolboys League has an awful lot to do to keep pace with other schoolboys’ leagues,’ admitted U13 Inter-League manager McQueen.
‘We are not progressing our players like other leagues are and it is because of a lack of games. West Cork needs a permanent base, a venue of our own to play and train in otherwise we are going to be left behind.
‘The best example I could give is Cavan-Monaghan. We know that team well from having hosted them in an SFAI All-Ireland U13 National Plate semi-final final in Drinagh earlier this year. Cavan-Monaghan went on to win the 2005 Elite tournament we were part of at the Galway Cup but, back in May, I would have put us on a par with them in terms of technique and movement.
‘Unfortunately, having watched them again in Galway, I think they would probably have defeated us. Cavan-Monaghan have moved on since we last played them because they have permanent facilities available to them for training and are playing regular games. Granted, they have a bigger squad in terms of numbers than us but we won’t match their progression until we secure a permanent base and centre of our own. West Cork Schoolboys definitely need similar facilities that just aren’t there at the moment.’
The importance of finding a permanent home for West Cork Schoolboys Inter-League football squads notwithstanding, McQueen was proud of his squad’s efforts at this past weekend’s Galway Cup in Salthill.
‘I could honestly go through the whole squad and mention each of the lads that came to Galway with us. Every player was worthy of their place, made a contribution and got valuable experience of playing tournament football,’ McQueen commented.
‘Sam Pickering (Leeside) was voted our player’s player of the tournament and Ben O’Sullivan (Bantry Bay Rovers) the coaches’ choice.
‘There were plenty of others who deserve mention including our goalkeeper Adam O’Regan. Adam only made his debut for us in this year’s Subway SFAI Plate Munster final win over Clare, that’s only a few short months ago.
‘He has come on leaps and bounds since then and kept us in the game against West Waterford East Cork with a couple of great saves.’
Attention now turns towards a new season and trials for next year’s (U14) SFAI Kennedy Cup which begin in September.
McQueen now hopes most of this season’s U13 panel will continue their path through the region’s Emerging Talent Programme and feature at next summer’s prestigious tournament in the University of Limerick.