Kennedy Cup Day 6   25/06/2018


               FRIDAY 15TH JUNE 2018

The cubs were a bit slow to emerge from their dens this morning. They arrived quietly, blinking vacantly into the daylight.

Some of them looked like they had not slept for a fortnight!

Breakfast was a casual affair and then it was mostly just lazing about. There is Garda crime scene tape on the door on No.8! What went on in there last night?

Meanwhile Brian is keeping himself very busy washing pots and pans! A regular little housewife!

For all the casual craic everybody would much prefer to be playing a match this morning.

A few went up to watch games. Galway won the Trophy Final beating Drogheda 3-1. Not sure that this improves the mood!

Rory left us mid morning. He was great. He has put a few Mums under a bit of pressure as we have eaten like kings this week. Rory also came to all our games and was an important member of our squad. We all signed a Card to thank him for all his good work for us this week. Abdul will miss him most!

Otherwise guys just busied themselves packing getting ready for home and doing a bit of a tidy around the place.

Lunch was at 1. Rory had it prepared. Pasta and chicken carbonara! Delicious!

Then we had our last Team Meeting.

It was a time to say our goodbyes as a Group. There were some good words and a few presentations. Each player was also presented with a Certificate of Participation and a Souvenir Programme. We have really come together as a Group and this was all very emotional. It is hard to think that we will not be together as a Group like this after today. That is only starting to dawn on a few now.

Then it was off to watch the Final. The DDSL won, beating the Kildare League 4-2. Well done to them.

Some consolation, we suppose, that we had played so well against the eventual winners and that we had put it up to them.

But overall we believe that we have underachieved.

We were constantly told all year that it was important to have no regrets at the end of all this. Whether it is spoken or not, I think we all have to concede that we could and should have done better. We will have regrets.

Perhaps if we had known earlier what we know now we might have approached this a bit differently. Would we have done any better?

It has to be said that it does come down to fine, tiny margins that make it a success or not.

We won 2 games, drew 1, lost 3, scored 7 and conceded 8. That put us in 27th place.

Last year the ADSL also won 2 games, drew 1, and lost 3, also scored 7 and conceded 9. They finished 8th!

Work that one out!

Still it is a positive that everybody got loads of game time. It is remarkable that all fit 19 players got on the pitch against the DDSL and that all 20 played in each of our last 3 games.

Overall we are disappointed now but we have had a fantastic week and one we will never forget. It was a fantastic experience and great to be a part of it all. We did not fully understand just how big this is. Think, the Kennedy Cup is trending more on Twitter than the World Cup right now. The only pity is that Keith Andrews did not get the chance to interview Abdul! That would have blown the ratings!

After the Final it was back to our Houses. We did not have to wait long for our Bus and soon we were loaded and ready for home.

There was a great feeling on the Bus as we left but most still took a quiet moment to take a last look at what has been a great home with great people at a great event for the last six days!

We will look back at this Kennedy Cup with great fondness and mostly happy memories.

We stopped off on the way home in Borrisokane for ice cream. Just adding to the memories really for a very happy group.

We were back in Athlone for 7.30pm and were met by a large Group of family and friends. That was nice.

There were a few last presentations to the Coaches from the parents. Then we finished as we have finished every Training session and every day we have spent together – with handshakes all round. This last time it meant a little more.

But a great way to finish!

Thank you to all those who have made this all possible. Thank you to everyone who has supported this adventure in any way and made it all possible.

 And what an adventure it was! From cold Friday nights in the AIT to wet Monday’s in Hodson Bay. From holding the Plank for what seemed forever to coming to love porridge! From football tennis to Abdul’s Press Conferences! From Manchester to Galway to Malta to Lisdoonvarna and to all over the country right up to this last week in Limerick. What an amazing and incredible adventure!

Thank you to David and Dermot. Two magnificent Coaches. Thank you also to Shane, James and Mick before them for all their great work too. Thanks to the ADSL for giving us this remarkable opportunity and experience.

To a fantastic Group of players let this just be the beginning for you. The very best of good luck to you all in all that you go on to do in the future. Always be brilliant! Always be the very best that you can be!


NOTE : The ADSL was happy to donate our unused unopened food stuffs and non-perishables to the Esker House Women’s and Children’s Refuge. We would urge you to also support this magnificent organisation.


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