BOYNE CUP DAY 3   07/08/2018

BOYNE CUP 2018  - DAY 3

              SUNDAY 22ND JULY 2018

Believe it or not some sleep was had last night!

But all still good to go for another day.

Breakfast was good and it was some sight to see all the players togged out in the 8 different Champions League team kit for today in the canteen. It was even better to already see some throwing nodding glances to team-mates they have yet to fully meet.

Then it was out to the Pitches on another glorious sunny day to meet up as our new teams and new Coaches drawn from the other teams. Dermot of course is coaching Real Madrid. That will surprise nobody except that it has taken so long to happen! We always knew he would get there!

It was a little odd to meet up with new players and start to get to know them. They are drawn mostly from Northern Ireland and from across the divide. I’m sure they think us odd but within minutes everyone was starting to get comfortable in each others’ company. Once we had played a match we were team mates and friends. Like we had known each other for ever.

Each team played 3 Group games this morning with the top 2 from each Group qualifying for The Champions League semi-finals in the afternoon while the bottom 2 will play the Europa League semi-finals supposedly also this afternoon but more likely on a bleak Thursday night on BT2!

It was great fun. Much better than anyone could ever have imagined. We have to mention Luke W who scored the Goal of the Day for Roma against Real Madrid! What a screamer!

This idea works and the proof was in the eating at lunchtime with new team mates who did not know each other this morning now having lunch together. Then they were also sitting and chatting together in the Group Photo organised in front of the spectacular Castle in Gormanston after lunch.

Then it was back onto the pitches for the semi-finals and Finals.

Athletico Madrid beat Roma to win the Champions League while Real Madrid won the Europa League Final on penalties.

But the real winner was the concept. It really works and  it was great to see new friendships made and to see all these young boys from different traditions and backgrounds come together to play fantastic football. A good day.

After all the football it was back for dinner and a chance to say thanks and goodbye to all the kitchen staff who were so good to us.

Then it was time to load up the bus and to say goodbye to Gormanston and to head for home. Only the Vending Machines were happy to see the back of us! They need a break!

Any thought that these lads might be tired or even flagging were soon dispelled. We had one hell of an almighty sing-song on the way home interrupted only by a shop stop and then belted out with gusto until we arrived back at Kilmartins.

Did we really leave from here three days ago?

What a fantastic and amazing weekend.

Thanks to the organisers of the Boyne Cup and everyone at Gormanston. Thanks to all the other teams and the Refs and all who made this weekend possible.

Thanks to all the parents and family and friends who came to support us and who contributed to such a great experience.

Thanks especially to 31 fantastic young men. You may not sleep a whole lot but you are amazing craic and you can play football! You were a credit to your families, to your Clubs and to the ADSL.

Thanks for a great weekend!

Hopefully when these 31 boys return to school in September and they are asked what was the highlight of their summer perhaps a few might mention the Boyne Cup!

“Nellie Kelly!”   “Nellie Kelly!”


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