KDYS/Garda Soccer Blitz Returns with a Ten Team Line-Up

Knockaderry and Daniel primary winners with Garda Niamh Corkery (left) Helena Falvey, KDYS and Garda Mike Dwyer. Players included are: Daniel Cronin, Darragh O’Sullivan, Jack O’Shea, Kia O’ Sullivan, Back: Padraig O’Sullivan, Oige O’Leary-Griffin, Eoin Corcoran and Jayden Foley.

The Gangsters F.C. Primary category competitors. Front from left: Stuart Simmonds, Michael O’Brien and Che O’Neill. Back: Alan Wierzanki, Evan Cronin, John Coffey, Michael Coffey and Ciaran Swansuley.
U-15 captain, Jack Foley accepting the Georgie O’Callaghan Cup from the late Georgie’s twin, Jamesie at the 2022 KDYS / Garda Soccer League.
2022 KDYS / Garda Soccer League U-18 winners, Nyash Warriors with Garda Niamh Corkery (left) and Helena Falvey, KDYS with: Conor O Neill, captain; Alex Kepp, Cian Griffin, Luke Curtin, Garry Lynch, Donal Crean, Sean Dillane, Dominic Finegan, Paddy Walsh, Jedd Mansuell.

The Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS) in partnership with the Castleisland Garda Síochana ran their soccer tournament at the Georgie O’Callaghan Memorial Park in Castleisland on Thursday last.

The event was a great success, with 10 teams and up to 80 players taking part.

This year there were three categories: primary school section, U-15s and U-18s competition.The primary school category had six teams taking part.

Top Teams Going Through

They were put into two groups with the top two teams in each group getting into the semi-finals.

In the end it came down to a final between ‘Knockaderry and Daniel’ and ‘Currow’. The final was a competitive match with ‘Knockaderry and Daniel’ winning on a score line of 3-0. The team members were delighted to win the trophy and victory brought huge celebrations.

This was the first year where there were two all-female teams entering in the primary event and it was great to see so many girls taking part.

Georgie O’Callaghan Cup

The Georgie O’Callaghan Cup went to ‘The Cats’ in the U-15 sector. Unfortunately, they were the only team entered so they participated in the U-18 competition.

There were four teams in the U-18 competition. All teams played each other with the top two teams in the final. This was a great game of soccer, and the match was played out in a great spirit. In the end ‘Nyash Warriors’ were victorious beating ‘The Reliables’ on a score line of 2-1.

In each competition, there were also awards handed out to individuals for Player of the Tournament.

Awards for Pádraig, Josh and Alex

In the primary game, Pádraig O’Sullivan from ‘Knockaderry’ received the award. In the U-15s category Josh Ryan from ‘The Cats’ was the recipient. Alex Kepp from ‘Nyash Warriors’ received the award for the U-18s category.

All involved felt that it was great to have the event up and running again after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Many Local Volunteers

The tournament was organised by Helena Falvey, Youth Justice Worker, KDYS, alongside Garda Niamh Corkery.

“The event depends on the support and help of many local volunteers,” said Ms. Falvey.

“KDYS and Castleisland Garda Síochana would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people: Stuart Auctioneers for sponsorship of medals and plaques; Castleisland AFC for use of the Georgie O’Callaghan Park and special mention to Jamesie O’Callaghan, twin brother of the late Georgie for his help on the night; Jim O’Connor, Cian Ring and Garda Eoin O’Sullivan who did an outstanding job refereeing the games; Vincent Murphy Sports, who provided engraving and sponsor of the U-15 / Georgie O Callaghan Cup; Garvey’s SuperValu and Lidl Castleisland who sponsored water and refreshments; – KDYS staff and An Garda Síochana for their help on the night.

Looking Forward to 2023

“Thanks also to all the team organisers, players and everyone else who supported the event. We look forward to seeing you again next year,” said Ms. Falvey.

The tournament is supported by the KEY Service which 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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