Junior Season Preview
The new junior season in Limerick kicked off last Tuesday and once again, Newport will have 5 sides competing in the local leagues. A, B, C and two U17 sides. League formats have been changed this year. A’s play in Premier A (old 1A), B’s in 1B (old 2A) & C’s in 3A (old Div 4).
The A team will be playing just 1 tier below the Premier League. Following on from last season’s successful season which saw them gain promotion, win the Calvert Cup and enjoy great runs in both the FAI Junior Cup & Lawson Cups, Manager, Marc Barry, has kept the nucleus of last season’s squad intact. He has also brought in some excellent signings who will further strengthen the squad. Local lad, Keith Mawdsley, re-joins the club from Janesboro after winning the Premier League and Oscar Traynor Cup last season. He’s also joined from Janesboro, by Darragh Carroll who has strong ties with Newport. Michael Ryan from Cappamore and Ryan Mawdsley from Kilfrush. Once again, the squad will be a nice blend of youth and lots of experience.
Dave Kennedy will be the assistant manager. Davy Ryan will continue in his role as coach, while Ailbe Coffey & Cian O’Connell will be the kitmen. Brian ‘Clemy’ O’Sullivan will continue as captain. The lads have had a decent pre-season but it’s hard to know what to expect this season playing at a higher level. It might take a few games for the new players to settle-in, however the management & squad will be confident of holding their own and if all goes well, competing in the top half of the table and hopefully putting some good cup runs together.
The B’s are under a new management team of Peter Coleman & Allon Flynn, while Tom O’Malley & Dave Noble will assist in the background as kitmen. David ‘Dobs’ O’Brien will be captain, with Jonathan Coyle as vice-captain. A number of senior players from last season’s squad have now retired, so this side will feature several players from the youth sides of the last couple of seasons along-side some well-seasoned players and some returning players. The B’s finished fifth last season and lost their cup semi-final, but with all the re-shuffles the B’s have been promoted and will now play in 1B (old 2A). Hopefully a good league position and solid cup run are attainable in a very tough division. A good start to the campaign will be crucial.
There is also a change in the C team management, with Lar Kennedy taking the reins along with Peter Thompson & PJ O’Rourke. This team had a disappointing season last year and are hoping that under new management and with a few incoming players to bolster the squad, they will hope to improve on last season. This is a very young squad, still learning the ropes but there is plenty of ability amongst them to push on. The management have a big squad of players to choose from and confidence is high that they will give a good account of themselves.
We have two U17 squads. The A’s are managed by Denis O’Sullivan, Seamus O’Sullivan & Jim O’Riordan, while the B’s are under the management of Francis Merrigan, Jamie Kennedy & Tim Coffey. Both sets of players now step into the Sunday junior ranks from the schoolboy Saturday leagues. Both sides have enjoyed some success in previous seasons but in the junior ranks they will be coming up against sides and visiting pitches they haven’t come across before.
Best of luck to our all junior squads & management. Please try and get along to their games to support them during the season. You can keep right up to date with all club fixtures and results on the club website.
With midweek fixtures being played at the start of the season, the games come thick & fast for our junior sides. The A team played 2 games in the first week and suffered a home defeat and an away victory. Newport suffered a disappointing 3-2 opening league defeat to Moyross in front of a decent crowd in Derryleigh Park last Wednesday evening. Newport conceded deep into injury time to end the game pointless despite taking a 3-1 lead in the 54th minute. However a spirited fight back from the visitors saw them snatch all 3 points on offer. In truth, Newport played well at times and created enough chances to win the game but at this level, failure to put a game to bed can cost dearly, as proved tonight. Scorers were Davy Ryan, Keith Mawdsley & and O.G.
The lads had a quick chance to put this defeat behind them when they travelled to play Corbally on Saturday evening and they picked up their first points of the season with a convincing 6-2 win. Paul Ryan was the hat-trick hero, while Keith Mawdsley scored for the second game running. Captain, Brian ‘Clemy’ O’Sullivan also opened his scoring account for the new season with Dave Kennedy also on the scoresheet. This win should now settle the lads down and give them confidence before their next game at home to Holycross on Tuesday evening.
The Bs also had 2 games in quick succession. They suffered a 4-1 defeat away to Regional B in their opening game. It was a disappointing result for the Bs on the big Dooradoyle astro-pitch on Wednesday evening, with a scoreline that probably doesn’t reflect the overall game. There will be a total of 20 games in this league campaign so it’s a long season and this young side has lots of potential once it gets into its stride.
The Bs bounced back from their opening day defeat with an emphatic 4-0 win at home to Cals on Saturday evening. The squad was depleted due to injuries, illness & work commitments but this was a solid performance from the lads with Colin Coleman in great form with a well-taken hat-trick. This was a much improved performance and a pleasing aspect of the game was a clean sheet. Next up for the Bs is an away trip to play Mungret Regional on Tuesday evening.
The C team also suffered an opening day defeat when they lost 3-2 at home to Cals B in Derryleigh Park on Friday evening. The Newport scorers were Jordan Ryan & Wayne Cullen.
This week’s junior fixtures are as follows. Monday, August 19, U17 Div 1, Aisling Annacotty A v Newport Town AFC A, 6.30pm (Annacotty) & U17 Div 2, Newport Town AFC B v Kilfrush, 6.30pm ( Derryleigh Park). Tuesday, August 20, Junior A, Premier A, Holycross v Newport Town AFC, 6.30pm (Holycross) & Junior B, Div 1B, Mungret Regional B v Newport Town AFC B, 6.30pm (Mungret). Friday, August 23, Junior C, Div 3A, Lisnagry v Newport Town AFC, 6.30pm (Scanlon Park) & U17 Div 2, Aisling Annacotty C v Newport Town AFC, 6.30pm (Annacotty). Saturday, August 24, Junior A, Premier A, Newport Town AFC v Hill Celtic, 6.30pm (Derryleigh Park). Tuesday, August 27, Junior A, Premier A, Charleville v Newport Town AFC, 6.30pm (Charleville) & Junior B, Div 1B, Newport Town AFC v Caherdavin, 6.30pm (Derryleigh Park).
Last Man Standing will return on Saturday, September 14
Due to popular demand, the club’s Last Man Standing competition, will be returning soon. Entry details to follow in the coming weeks. Entry will again be €10 with €500 on offer to the winner. Make the premiership weekends more interesting, challenge your team-mates, friends & family, while supporting the soccer club. If you haven’t played before, it’s easy. Each game week you will be texted the fixture list, you pick the Premiership team that you think will win their game and text back your selection. If your team wins their game, you are through to the next round. If they lose or draw, then you are out. You can’t pick the same team twice. This continues until the Last Man or Woman is left standing. As always, your support is greatly appreciated.
Our second & final summer camp of the summer kicked off on Monday, when 150 boys & girls between the ages of 6-14 were welcomed to Derryleigh Park for 5 days of football, fun & friendship. Both our camps were fully booked-out this summer, which is a great reflection of the growth of soccer in our locality. Thanks to everyone who volunteers to ensure that the camps go off without a hitch.
There was no winner of this week’s club’s lotto and the jackpot is now €6,850 with the next draw taking place on Saturday, August 24 in McGrath’s Bar. The numbers drawn were 3, 13, 20 & 29. Thanks, as always, to everyone who supports the club’s main fund raiser.
Our ‘Clothes Collection’ continues, so drop your bags of clothes, shoes, handbags, blankets & bed linen to the clubhouse anytime. Just leave them under the canopy and we will recycle them for you. This fundraiser is in partnership with the NCBI – Working for People with Sight Loss. If you need bags collected or have any questions, please contact Sarah on 087 2826155.