With pre-season completed, the 2018/2019 Junior season kicks-off this evening when the Junior A team, under the helm of new manager, Marc Barry, welcome Knockainey to Derryleigh Park with a 6.30pm start. This will be a tough opener for the A team as the visitors were unlucky to be relegated from Div 1A last season and no doubt will be anxious to bounce straight back up. Knockainey have strengthened their squad during the off-season with the signing of former Janesboro player, John Tierney. However, Newport have also been active over the summer and the signings of Dave Ryan from Pike and Christy Doyle from Fairview along with the experienced Jimmy Fyffe will bring lots of experience and talent to the squad. Blend this with the introduction of some of last year’s league winning Youth side and you have an exciting mix of players who will hopefully start the season well and look to better their 5th place league finish last season.
The B’s start their league campaign in Div 2B tomorrow evening when Athlunkard B will be the visitors to Derryleigh Park at 6.30pm. Dave ‘Dobs’ O’Brien will once again be player-manager for the B’s and following-on from their Cup win and third place in the league last season, sights will be firmly set on being involved in the promotion shake-up at the end of the season. Dobs has a large squad to choose from and will also be a mixture of youth and experience, again with some of last season’s youths making the progression from under-age football.
The C team under the stewardship of Kevin ‘Gazza’ Healy, Adrian Hurley & Ailbe Coffey will be plying their trade in Div 4 this season. Their first game is away to Fairview C on Friday. This is a very young squad with the majority of the squad in their late teens, early 20’s with the odd bit of experience thrown in. Again, there is a large panel of players to choose from and confidence is high that they will give a good account of themselves.
Having finished third in the league and beaten cup-finalists, last year’s U17s will be anxious to push on again this year in Div 2 of the U18 Youth Leagues. More or less the same squad of players remain at the disposal of the management team of Peter Coleman & Allon Flynn, assisted by Tom O’Malley & Dave Noble. It’s an exciting and talented squad, which also includes a number of U17 players and the lads get their season underway next Wednesday with a tough opener, when they travel to play Shelbourne who were promoted last season.
Finally, our 17s step into the Sunday junior ranks having completed the U16 Div 1 League & Cup Double last season. They have been ‘rewarded’ with a place in Div 1 Premier which will be a big step-up from last season, however the lads are confident that if they play to their potential, they will prove tough opposition for anyone. Once again, Daire Kennedy & Ray Ryan will be in charge and will have the lads well-drilled before the season opener at home to Fairview on Thursday, August 23.
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.