Boys' Interprovincial Tournament Kicks Off at Weekend
The Boys' Interprovincial Tournament will launch the first series of events in the FAI Schools calendar this year. The tournament will see the first and second round of games played at Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore while Sunday morning's fixtures will be played at Willow Park, Athlone.
The Interprovincial's are the first step in the process of selecting the FAI Schools International squad for next year's Centenary Shield competition so as well as provincial honours, there is plenty at stake with sixty four of the top players in Irish schools taking part.
Leinster will head to the midlands seeking their fifth straight victory in the event though last year Ulster challenged them all the way and the title went to the wire in the final game of the series.
The Leinster lads had to work extremely hard last time out to grind out a result with a narrow 2-1 victory over Connacht in the opening encounter while continuing their good run of form with a convincing 2-0 win over Munster and then clinching the spoils with a draw to Ulster after the northerners failed to capitalise on some quantity ball up front.
The dominance in Leinster in this tournament over the last decade has been phenomenal. Past managers including Donal Conway, Robbie Moran, Conor Foley, Oisin MacEoin, Dave Archbold and Paddy O'Reilly (who is current Assistant Manager), have all paved the way for future success. The only province to upset the odds was Munster back in 2006 when they hosted the Interprovincial tournament.
Since then, Munster has experienced a somewhat surprise demise in recent years. The outfit failed to register any points last season, while in 2009, a single point was all the team could muster. The last few years has seen a number of managers come and go as they bid to get the province back in contention.
A rejuvenated team this season will see Derek O'Brien and Conor Uhi take on the managerial challenge. Both men will be looking forward to the three day series which will be the culmination of months of planning and preparation. O'Brien who teaches in CBS Tramore will have two prominent players return. Colaiste Iosaef student Barry Sheedy and De La Salle star Conor Coad will be relishing the opportunity to represent their Province once again.
Joining the duo will be Tipperary's CBS High School net-minder Evan Comerford and Aidan McGrath along with Comeragh College's Jack Doherty and keeper Darragh Gibbs.
Waterford's St. Paul's Community College has David Cooley and Jason Keane named. They will hope to follow in the footsteps of former student Brian Nolan who was capped for FAI Schools and is currently enjoying top flight football with Waterford United.
De La Salle, Waterford captured the FAI Schools All Ireland Senior title last year and two players that were influential in their historic victory were Conor Coad and Gavin O'Donovan. The DLS teammates will be looking impress O'Brien and Co as they take to the field in Tullamore.
Jason Abbott, Colaiste Mhuire was a late withdrawal from the squad due to injury but a late call up for Darren Murphy will ensure the dominance of the Cork natives. All in all Cork have five players making the final section with Anthony O'Donnell (Carrigaline CS), Brendan Frahill (Colaiste Mhuire, Cobh) Darren Murphy (St. Aidan's CC), Rob Lehane (Douglas CC), and Brian Linehan (Presentation Brothers College) all reaching Provincial level status.
Indeed, Murphy's late arrival is well merited having been involved in the home based ETP U17 trip this summer to Celtic along with numerous underage caps over the past couple of years.
The Munster line up may come from various schools across the six counties but many have played together previously at International level through the FAI underage ranks. Conor Coad and Rob Lehane were involved in Emerging Talent trip to Inter Milan for the home based U17s last year and Jason Keane and Jack Doherty would have been involved in the International set up at U15 and U16's level giving the Munster lads plenty of scope to impress against their counterparts.
Sean Barrett will accompany Colaiste Iosaef, Kilmallock colleague Barry Sheedy, as well as, Sexton Street CBS student Reece Healy. In fact Sheedy will join up with his colleagues on Saturday as he has club commitments with Limerick FC on Friday night as they play host to Athlone Town in Jackman Park. The youngster will be hoping to make the starting eleven having come off the bench last week in their Cup tie against Shelbourne, scoring twice for Pat Scully's side.
Munster will need to impress early in the tournament if they are to keep in contention. O'Brien will be looking to pick up points in all three deciders as events unfold in Tullamore and Athlone.
Leinster Manager John McShane (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray) has Paddy O'Reilly (Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun) and Conor Foley (Athlone Community College) in his backroom team. The trio have tasted success over the last four years together and the experienced gained by these men will be worth noting as they take to the field on Friday evening against Munster.
The Leinster squad has just one familiar face from last season with Ryan Matthews, Clonkeen College, Blackrock, who was also capped for FAI Schools returning.
Wicklow will see four representatives featured including net minder Stephen McGuinness (Colaiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole), Pierce Sweeney (Colaiste Raithin, Bray) Sean Hurley (CBS Arklow) and Ger Pender (St. Brendan's College, Bray).
Naas CBS's Luke Fitzgibbon is the only student to make the cut for Kildare.
Laois have James Mullaney (Mountrath CS) and keeper Niall Corbet (Clonaslee VC) included.
St. Joseph's CBS in Fairview has Paul and Alan Gannon present. The duo is accompanied by Tallaght's Toyeeb Mustapha who attends St. Aidan's CS.
Blackrock's Ryan Matthews will be featured alongside colleague Paul Moffat of Clonkeen College.
The fifth Dublin representative to be included in the final 16 will be Donahies CS pupil Craig Burke who will be one to watch out for at the weekend.
Carlow's sole representative will be Mark Lyons who is a student in Knockbeg College. While neighbouring student Sean Maguire of CBS Kilkenny will be looking forward to lining out at the weekend.
It should be a cracking contest on Friday evening (Leah Victoria Park, 5pm) as the Leinster lads kick off the defence of their title against a Munster team that has plenty to prove.
The Ulster outfit led by Carr and McFadden last season will continue the reigns and will hope the same performance if not better this time around. The Northern province had a hat-trick of goals over
Munster in their opener and drew 1-1 with Connacht in the afternoon fixtures on day two while a sterling performance against Leinster remained scoreless and thus ended their hopes of landing the elusive title.
The Ulster outfit have a fresh young team travelling to the midlands with Shane McGinty of Deele College, Raphoe the only survivor from 2010. McGinty will be accompanied by fellow student Dean McConnell.
Cavan's John Carney and Caolan Reilly will represent St. Aidan's Comprehensive School in Cootehill while neighbouring student Lindo Majola will represent St. Clare's College, Ballyjamesduff.
St. Catherine's VS student Hugh McFadden led his school to the All Ireland Senior B Cup Final last February but unfortunately fell short to Nagle CC in an epic final. The youngster will be very familiar with the Tullamore venue and will hope for better luck in Leah Victoria Park.
Cathal McDaid is the only St. Eunan's College pupil to be selected along with John McGarvey of PCC Falcarragh.
Carndonagh CS that three talented players making a well deserved appearance at Provincial level with Seamus Houghton, Darragh McConway and Darren Coyle all hoping to progress further this year as International management will be in attendance to oversee proceedings
Monaghan have St. Macartan's College stars Ferghal McMahon and Conor Forde making the cut for the Ulster side. They bring with them some International experience which may prove influential in the tournament.
Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana has Darragh O'Connor, Ryan Curran and Peter Doherty all represented.
A pulsating tie is sure to be evidenced as Ulster take on Connacht in the second game on Friday evening at Tullamore with a 6:30pm kick off scheduled.
The Connacht management has seen somewhat of a transition this year with the introduction of Emmet Peyton who takes over the managerial responsibilities from Brian Lacey. Peyton will be assisted by Fergal O'Hara (Rice College) and Tom Byrne (St. Gerald's College). The Connacht side were runners up two years ago but saw a dip in form last season which they will desperately want to improve upon.
The Connacht squad will be strengthened by the introduction of St. Gerald's star Noe Baba who is an underage International with John Morling's side. Ian Batley, Clifden Community School and David Brick, St. Clare's Comprehensive, Manorhamilton make a welcome return to the side having featured last year. Peyton will be relying on the experience of this trio to produce something special in Tullamore.
Mayo's Rice College have three players making an appearance for the Connacht side namely keeper Conor O'Malley, Padraig Keane and Jamie Fallon. St. Gerald's College have a duo of Noe Baba, Colm Nevin followed by St. Louis student Conor Byrne.
Galway's Colaiste Iognaid has a trio of Jack O'Reilly, Jason Lyons and Timmy Molloy represented accompanied by the St. Mary's College trio of Gabriel Darcy, Rory Lavelle and Evan Browne.
Michael Casey and Ben McGarry will fly the flag for Summerhill College, Sligo.
Ulster and Connacht have always been evenly matched so the first round of games may prove decisive in their campaign. With a new pool of talent on display these two teams could prove a surprise for
McShane and O'Brien as they go in search of the silverware in 2011.
As part of the International trial process, a training squad will be selected by the Irish School's management team. This consists of Mr. Ollie Horgan (St. Eunan's College, Letterkenny), Mr. Hugh Colhoun (St. Laurence College, Loughlinstown) and Mr. Dave Archbold (Palmerstown Community School)
This provisional training squad will have a major three day session at the end of the month as well as numerous sessions early next year ahead of their first competitive game of the International series which is scheduled at home to Northern Ireland on March 16 in Pike Rovers, Limerick. In preparation for the opening Centenary Shield encounter, the Irish will play Australia in an International Friendly on January 27 in Dublin. The management will use this friendly encounter to finalise their squad to defend their Centenary Shield title.
In keeping with the long standing tradition of maintaining the interest in the competition until the final matches on Sunday morning, the draw for Saturday and Sunday's matches will be made following the games on Friday evening.
Leinster: Stephen McGuinness (Colaiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole), Adam O'Connor (Drimnagh Castle SS), Paul Gannon (St. Joseph's, Fairview), Pierce Sweeney (Colaiste Raithin, Bray), Ryan Matthews (Clonkeen College, Blackrock), Paul Moffat (Clonkeen College), Craig Burke (Donahies CS), Luke Fitzgibbon (Naas CBS), Alan Gannon (St. Joseph's, Fairview), Sean Maguire (CBS Kilkenny), Sean Hurley (CBS Arklow), Ger Pender (St. Brendan's College, Bray), Mark Lyons (Knockbeg College, Carlow), Toyeeb Mustapha (St. Aidan's CC, Tallaght), James Mullaney (Mountrath CS), Niall Corbett (Clonaslee VC, Laois)
Management: John McShane (Dublin Oak Academy, Bray), Paddy O'Reilly (Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun), Conor Foley (Athlone Community College)
Munster: Evan Comerford (CBS High School, Clonmel), Aidan McGrath (CBS High School, Clonmel), Anthony O'Donnell (Carrigaline Community School), Brendan Frahill (Colaiste Mhuire, Cobh), Gavin O'Donovan (De La Salle College, Waterford), David Cooley (St. Paul's Community College), Reece Healy (CBS Sexton Street, Limerick), Darren Murphy (St. Aidan's Community School, Cork), Rob Lehane (Douglas Community School), Conor Coad (De La Salle College, Waterford), Jack Doherty (Comeragh College, Tipperary), Barry Sheedy (Coláiste Iosaef, Kilmallock), Sean Barrett (Coláiste Ioasef, Kilmallock), Jason Keane (St. Paul's Community College), Brian Kinehan (PBC, Cork), Darragh Gibbs (Comeragh College)
Management: Derek O'Brien (CBS Tramore), Conor Uhi (Coláiste Mhuire, Cobh), Gary Power (FAI DO, Waterford)
Ulster: Seamus Houghton (Carndonagh CS), Ryan Curran (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana), Peter Doherty (Scoil Mhuire), Hugh McFadden (St. Catherine's VS), Darren Coyle (Carndonagh CS), Shane McGinty (Deele College, Raphoe), Cathal McDaid (St. Eunan's College), John Carney (St. Aidan's Comprehensive School, Cootehill), John McGarvey (PCC Falcarragh),Ferghal McMahon (St. Macartan's College, Monaghan), Darragh McConway (Carndonagh CS), Darragh O'Connor (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana), Caolan Reilly (St. Aidan's Comprehensive School, Cootehill), Lindo Majola (St Clare's College, Ballyjamesduff), Dean McConnell (Deele College, Raphoe) and Conor Forde (St. Macartan's College, Monaghan)
Management: Paddy Carr (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana), Sean McFadden (Crana College), William O'Connor (Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana), John Kerr (Patrician High School, Carrickmacross).
Connacht: Conor O'Malley (Rice College, Mayo), Gabriel Darcy (St. Mary's College, Galway), Michael Casey (Summerhill College, Sligo), Padraig Keane (Rice College), Noe Baba (St. Gerald's College, Mayo), Ian Batley (Clifden CS), Timmy Molloy (Colaiste Iognaid, Galway), Conor Byrne (St. Louis, Kiltimagh), David Brick (St. Clare's Comprehensive, Leitrim), Colm Nevin (St. Gerald's College), Jason Lyons (Colaiste Iognaid), Rory Lavelle (St. Mary's College), Jamie Fallon (Rice College), Evan Browne (St. Mary's College), Ben McGarry (Summerhill College), Jack O'Reilly (Colaiste Iognaid)
Management: Emmet Peyton (St. Mureduch's College, Ballina), Fergal O'Hara (Rice College), Tom Byrne (St. Gerald's College), Seamus McWalter (Physio)
Friday, October 14 (Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore)
5.00pm Munster v Leinster
6.30pm Ulster v Connacht
Saturday, October 15 (Leah Victoria Park, Tullamore)
2.00pm Draw will be made on Friday evening
4.00pm Draw will be made on Friday evening
Sunday, October 16 (Willow Park, Athlone)
BOYS' INTERNATIONAL FIXTURES:
27.01.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v Australia (FR) in Dublin
16.03.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v Northern Ireland (CS) in Pike Rovers FC, Limerick
30.03.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v Scotland (CS) in RSC, Waterford
12.04.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v Wales (CS) in Carmarthen
20.04.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v New Zealand (FR) in Dublin
26.04.12 FAI Schools (Boys) v England (CS) in Brighton
FR = Friendly
CS = Centenary Shield