The Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS) in partnership with the Castleisland Garda Síochána ran their annual soccer tournament at Castleisland Soccer Field, Limerick Road on Thursday 28th of June.
A Great Success
The event was a great success, with 10 teams and around 90 players taking part. This year there were three categories: Primary School section; an U-15s and an U-18s competition.
The primary school competition had three teams taking part. It was run with each team playing each other and top two teams through to the final.
In the end it came down to a final between ‘Gamers FC’ and ‘The Grenade Launchers’. The final was a thrilling match with ‘Gamers FC’ winning on a score line of 4-0. Gamers FC members were delighted to win the trophy and victory brought huge celebrations.
Agri Spec V The Foxes
Two teams battled it out in the U-15s event. The final was between the ‘Agri Spec’ and ‘The Foxes’.
The game ended 2-2, with an exciting penalty shoot out resulting in the Agri Spec team being victorious.
This year saw us without one of our most dedicated supporters. Last April we were all saddened to hear of the passing of Georgie O Callaghan. Georgie was a huge support in helping with the running the blitz every year.
Georgie O’ Callaghan Memorial Cup
Georgie was very dedicated to the youth in Castleisland AFC and in his memory we felt it was only fitting to name the U-15 cup in his memory. The Georgie O’ Callaghan Memorial Cup was kindly sponsored by Vincent Murphy and on the night was presented to captain James Kenny of ‘Agri Spec’ by Georgie’s twin brother, Jamesie O’ Callaghan.
Many of the young people taking part have fond memories of Georgie and on the night they played their hearts out as he always would have encouraged them to do.
Five U-18 Teams
There were five teams in the U-18s competition. This was great to see so many teams at this age level and really showed how this blitz is held in such high regard with the these boys who have been playing all the way up through the age levels throughout the years.
The final was a great game of soccer and was played out in a great spirit and in the end ‘The Buzz Bee Babes’ were victorious beating Fake Taxi FC.
Player of the Tournament
In each competition, there were also awards handed out to individuals for Player of the Tournament. In the Primary game, Rory Burke from ‘Gamers FC’ received the award. In the U15 category Hubert Turkiewiez from ’The Foxes’ received the award. Jamie Heffernan from ‘Buzz Bee Babes’ received the award for the U18 category.
Sgt. John O’Mahony – Blitz Founder
Once again Sgt. John O’Mahony alongside Helena Falvey, Youth Justice Worker, Key Service, KDYS co-ordinated the competition.
The KDYS/Garda Soccer Blitz was founded by Sgt. John O’Mahony in 2004 and and has gone from strength to strength and being enjoyed by participants and spectators alike.
For the young people who participate it is one of the highlights of the year.
After many years of dedication this is Sgt. O’Mahony’s last year being involved. A presentation was made to him by Helena Falvey on the night in recognition of his contribution and his commitment year in, year out. We wish him the best of luck on his retirement and with his new ventures.
Thanks to the Volunteers
The event depends on the support and help of many local volunteers. The KDYS and Castleisland Garda Siochana would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people: Vincent Murphy Sports, who provided medals and engraving and the Georgie O’Callaghan Memorial Cup;
Tom Stewart of EBS for sponsorship of medals and plaques; Castleisland AFC and Jamesie O’Callaghan for use of and preparation of the grounds; Jim O’Connor and Jerry Falvey who did an outstanding job refereeing the games; Tim Nolan, KDYS for all his help on the run up to the event and on the night.
Thanks also to all the team organisers, players and everyone else who supported the event. It was great to see young lads who once played in the blitz now coaching teams and coming to support the event.
We look forward to seeing you again next year.
The Key Service is funded by the Ireland EU Structural and Investment Fund and the European Social Fund through the Irish Youth Justice Service.
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