FAI Junior Cup Preview

Over 600 teams started on the journey but after 4 rounds, just 64 sides now remain on the Road to the Aviva. This coming Sunday afternoon, we welcome Carbury FC (Sligo) to Derryleigh Park in the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup with a 2pm kick-off. Carbury FC are the reigning Super League Champions in the Sligo/Leitrim District League and the current Connacht Cup holders. The Sligo side have also won their last 15 consecutive games in all competitions, so we are under no illusion that they are a top-outfit and even though we are at home, Newport are the firm underdogs in this cup tie. Newport have played 4 games to get to this stage beating Northside Legacy (3-0), Dromore (6-1), Patrickswell (5-2) & Granville (4-2). Christy Doyle & Davy Ryan have scored 4 goals each in the 4 games, while team Captain, Brian ‘Clemy ‘O’Sullivan has scored 3. Christy Doyle is the team’s top-scorer this season with 17 goals in all competitions.

Carbury have played 3 games to make it to round 5 beating Boyle on pens (2-2 AET), Moore Utd (5-0) and St. Peter’s (3-2). The win against St. Peter’s was a great victory as the Athlone club were beaten semi-finalists just 2 seasons ago. Former Sligo Rovers player, Gary Armstrong and his partners-in-crime, Ibrahim Savage & Gareth Kelly, score goals for fun and are a handful for any defence.

As a club, we find ourselves in unknown territory, as it’s the first time in our 48-year history to make it to the out-of-town stages of the FAI Junior Cup. The side are having a good season-to-date and Manager, Marc Barry, has assembled a squad combining a nice blend of experience & youth and everyone in the club is really looking forward to the most-high profile game to take place in Derryleigh Park. It’s great to see the younger players featuring in the squad, as it’s a reflection of the work being done in our underage structures to bring through homegrown junior players, playing to a high level.

Newport have two former FAI Junior Cup & Munster Junior Cup winners in the squad, in Davy Ryan (Pike Rovers) & Christy Doyle (Fairview). We also have a former League of Ireland player, Jimmy Fyfe, as well as lads who have played in the Limerick Premier Division in the squad, so we have players who are used to the big occasion, but for most of the lads, this will be a bigger game than normal and one to really look forward to. Despite firmly wearing the underdog tag, the players will be fully up for this game and are hoping to cause a big cup upset. We look forward to seeing a big home support on the day and encourage everyone to come along to get behind the players and give our visitors a real Newport welcome. Win or lose (can be no draw as ET & pens on the day if needed), we hope to see everyone back in O’Sullivan’s Bar for some “post-match analysis”.

A big crowd is expected so we are asking people to arrive early as the car park will be busy. If possible, car pool from town and reduce the number of cars travelling to Derryleigh. The Derryleigh Dugout will be open before and during the game for hot drinks, soup, snacks & refreshments.