SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Finalists Announced
ALL roads lead to Dublin this Thursday as SPAR play host to the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s National Finals. There are 13 counties represented from all four provinces after the 20 schools came through county, regional and provincial finals before securing their place at the Aviva Stadium.
Excitement is mounting among the local communities as 160 players have the unique opportunity to showcase their skills in the home of Irish football. All eyes will be on these future stars as they bid to take the title of SPAR FAI 5s National Champions for 2015. Cavan have an impressive 3 schools qualified from Ulster while Donegal have 2 involved. The other counties see a mix of nationwide representation; Galway (2) Limerick (2), Mayo (2), Cork (2), Offaly (1), Longford (1), Kildare (1), Meath (1), Roscommon (1), Kilkenny (1) and Kerry (1).
We welcome back some familiar faces to the Aviva, namely; Stonepark NS, Longford (2013), St. Patrick's BNS, Castlebar, Mayo (2013), Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal (2013), Butlersbridge NS, Cavan (2014) and St. Anthony's BNS, Ballinlough, Cork (2014). Will the experienced gained from their last visit merit top spot on the podium? We will have to wait and see as games kick off at midday.
Mr. Seán Carr, FAI Schools Chairman said; "The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s is a brilliant competition for children. Not only does it get them playing football at a young age, but it also gives them the chance to play at the Aviva Stadium, something that many professional footballers will never get a chance to do. So for every team that has made the finals this is a great achievement and let's hope they have an amazing day on Thursday. We wish all participants the very best of luck."
Colin Donnelly, SPAR National Sales
Manager said, "This is a great opportunity for SPAR to support the local community and encourage children to be more active and participate in sport in a fun and competitive way. As a community based retailer, SPAR encourages a healthy and active lifestyle and is proud to be a supporter of Primary Schools' soccer in association with the FAI."
The SPAR FAI ‘A' Cup will have St. Leonard's NS, Dunnamaggin, Kilkenny (Leinster), St. Joseph's NS, Bolebeg, Galway (Connacht), Ballyduff Central NS, Tralee, Kerry (Munster) and Butlersbridge NS, Cavan (Ulster) all in contention for the crown. Cavan starlets Butlersbridge NS may be holding the favorites tag as they commence proceedings in the Aviva as they make a welcome return to this group following a good run out last season picking up a silver medal. They add this to their 4th place finish from 2007 and 2009 in their historic sporting endeavours
The SPAR FAI Girls ‘A' Cup will have Stonepark NS, Longford (Leinster), St. Oliver Plunkett NS, Kilkerrin, Galway (Connacht), St. Fergus' NS, Glin, Limerick (Munster) and St. Mary's NS, Arva, Cavan in the mix for the small girl's schools. Stonepark make an appearance following a two year absence in this section as Vice Captain Clodagh Lohan is the sole survivor from their 2013 squad. St. Fergus' NS were at this stage back in 2004 with their boys in the ‘B' Cup section which they won. Can the girls capture another All Ireland title for the School 11 years on?
Boyerstown NS, Meath (Leinster), Cloonakilla NS, Athlone, Roscommon (Connacht), Lisnagry NS, Limerick (Munster) and St. Brigid's NS, Killygarry, Cavan (Ulster) will try their luck in the medium schools category namely the SPAR FAI ‘B' Cup section but who can make the final cut on Thursday afternoon to claim a top of the table finish? An equal playing field should make for some exciting games in this progressive category.
The SPAR FAI Girls ‘B' Cup has a promising group of schools qualified with St. Brigid's NS, Kildare Town (Leinster), St. John's NS, Breaffy, Mayo (Connacht), Star of the Sea, Passage West, Cork (Munster) and Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Illistrin, Donegal (Ulster) all in the running. All newcomers to this stage of proceedings so I'm sure the players will relish the opportunities to impress in the Aviva.
The large schools section, SPAR FAI ‘C' Cup has Scoil Mhuire Banríon, Edenderry BNS, Offaly (Leinster), St. Patrick's BNS, Castlebar, Mayo (Connacht), St. Anthony's BNS, Ballinlough, Cork (Munster) and Scoil íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal (Ulster) all fighting it out for the number one spot. Three of the four schools involved here have a wealth of experience. St. Patrick's of Castlebar have made a whopping 9 All Ireland appearances since 2000 with 2 All Ireland titles to their credit. Their remarkable record includes 1st place in 2000 and 2009, 4th place (2001), 3rd (2002, 2005, 2007 and 2013) and 2nd place (2004, 2008). Scoil Íosagáin have a phenomenal record when it comes to this competition also having made 8 All Ireland appearances since 2004. The boys came 4th place over 11 years ago. The girl's representation were merited with a third place finish back in 2006, their only appearance thus far. Then the boys returned in 2007 (4th place finish), 2008 (3rd), 2009 (4th), 2011 (3rd), 2012 (4th) and 2013 (4th). While the Cork lads have made only 5 All Ireland appearances since 2003, they've proved more decisive in battle. The Ballinlough crew captured gold in 2003, 2008, 2011 and 2012, then a third place finish in 2014. An extraordinary achievement at this level.
The Finals at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday, May 14 will be a fun family day out with DJ Dara Quilty spinning the hits, there will be face painting, samba drummers and spot prizes given out across the day. Entry to the finals at the Stadium on the day is €2 for students and €5 for adults with entrance via Lansdowne Lane.
LIST OF PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS:
SPAR FAI ‘A' CUP
St. Joseph's NS (Buaile Beag NS), Bolybeg, Galway: Mark Diskin, Daniel O'Flaherty, Conor Egan, Tom O'Connor, Luke O'Gorman, Daniel O'Connor, Carl Byrne, Cillian King
Teachers: Damian O Keeffe & Yvonne Curley
Ballyduff Central NS, Tralee, Kerry: Anthony Kavanagh, Kyle O'Connor, Kieran O'Carroll, Aidan O'Connor, Dylan Moriarty, Thomas O'Connor, Joseph Murphy,Tadhg Dineen
Manager: John Mike O'Connor,
Teacher: Martina Rochford
St. Leonard's NS, Dunnamaggin, Kilkenny: Conor Denny, Shaun O' Keeffe, Andy Hickey, Darragh Walsh, Dylan Carroll, Joe Fitzpatrick, Jimmy O'Neill, Tadhg O'Sullivan
Teachers: PJ O'Keeffe & Jackie Delahunty
Butlersbridge NS, Cavan: Conor Maguire, Cathal Leddy, Jack Graham, Kevin McPhillips, Fionntáin O'Reilly, Alex Puscasu, Michael Sheridan, Jack English
Teachers: Niall Clerkin & Pauric Boyle
SPAR FAI ‘B' CUP
Cloonakilla NS, Athlone, Roscommon: John Shine, Jason Ryan, Kyle Conway, James Keane Flanagan, Shane Cleary, Kyle Lennon, Dara Mc Guinness, Jack Tiernan
Teacher: Michelle Gately,
Manager: Gerry Doyle
Lisnagry NS, Limerick: William O'Leary, Alan Conway, Dara Costelloe, Sean Fahy, Caimin Ayres, Joey Ryan, Evan O'Leary, Mark Murphy
Principal: Michael Feeney,
Teacher: Shane McGrath
Boyertown NS, Meath: David Monaghan, Christian Nicolenco, Daragh Reilly, Kyle Cosgrove, Isaac Mc Keever, Ruairi Buchanan, Paul Casserly, Adam Rogers
Teachers: Cathal O'Bric & Mark Ratty
St. Brigid's NS, Killygarry NS, Cavan: Patrick Reilly, Ben Mooney, Jack Mooney, Cian Reilly, Dylan Mulvany, Evan Maloney, Conor Mc Cabe, James Gannon
Manager: Michael Sheils,
Teacher: Mary Ruth Neylon
SPAR FAI ‘C' CUP
St. Patrick's BNS, Castlebar, Mayo: James Elfiki, Tomas Waldron, Donnachadh Mc Hugh, Oran Groarke, Paul Walsh, Dara Reilly, Dylan Cresham, Max Novicki
Teachers: Harry Canning & Des Cogan
St. Anthony's BNS, Ballinlough, Cork: Kevin Roche, Sean Cantillon, Shane Cotter, Daniel Cunningham, Jack Flanagan, Joe Harte, Ewan Lee, Daniel Meade
Teachers: Paul French & Brian Shannahan
Edenderry BNS, Offaly: Leon Tyrrell, Habib Goloba, Conor Hynes, Sean McMahon, Peter Daniel, Daragh Farrell, Lee Pearson
Teachers: Shane O' Looney & Ger Ryan
Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal: Cilléin Downey, James Loughrey, Lee Davison, Jamie McDaid, Thomas Doherty, Kevin Jordan, Cian Devlin, Ben Lynch
Teacher: Maria Doherty, Coach: Jonathon Adair
SPAR FAI GIRLS ‘A' CUP
St. Oliver Plunkett NS, Kilkerrin, Galway: Aoife Smyth, Katelyn Mee, Caitlin Boyle, Hannah Noone, Eva Noone, Laura Cunningham, Amy Duffy, Niamh McLoughlin
Teachers: Patricia Deveney & Oisín Courcy
St. Fergus' NS, Glin, Limerick: Eva Ryan, Brid Dillane, Mai Fitzgerald, Ella Tobin, Maura Shine, Georgia Duff, Anna Shine (Capt), Danielle McKenna
Teachers: Deirdre Dillane & Carol Ann Healy
Stonepark NS, Longford: Shauna Smith (Captain), Katie Devlin, Sarah O Reilly, Clodagh Lohan (Vice Captain), Emma Howlin, Laura Valentine, Davina Dardis, Molly Mulvihill
Teachers: Flor Leen & Alan Devlin
St. Mary's NS, Arva, Cavan: Kate Madden, Éabha Ní Fhaoláin, Kayla Brady, Johanna Sheridan, Jessica Pratt, Eva Brady, Jessica Smith, Erica Duke
Teachers: Olivia Gilmartin & Lesley Brady
SPAR FAI GIRLS ‘B' CUP
St. John's NS, Breaffy, Castlebar, Mayo: Kira Bright, Kelly Cresham, Vivienne Ward, Tiegan Daly, Aoife Moran, Meadhbh O'Shea, Holly Murphy, Robyn Murphy
Teachers: John Moran & Seán Grealis
Star of the Sea Primary School, Passage West, Cork: Emer Sheehan, Aine Higgins, Laura Finlay, Favour Nduwuba, Tara Whyte, Aisling McEveney, Hollie Tett, Eimear Murphy
Teachers: John Driscoll & Aine Corrigan
St. Brigid's Primary School, Kildare Town: Elizabeth Olayiwola, Caoimhe Byrne, Lisa O' Dwyer, Leanna Tsang, Casey Palmer, Roisin Houlihan, Dani Hill, Brigid Barry
Teachers: Adrian O'Connor & Aileen Quinn
Scoil Naomh Fiachra, Illistrin, Donegal: Samantha McFadden, Eimear Doherty (Captain), Ciara Doherty, Rebekah Mc Glinchey, Orla Corry, Aine Gallagher, Honour Okoroji, Dervla McCloskey
Teachers: Declan McFadden & Clare Molloy