Republic of Ireland and Derby County duo, Richard Keogh and Alex Pearce along with Wes Hoolahan, Norwich City launched the Bank of Ireland FAI Schools Post Primary Schools competitions for the 2016/17 season.
Joining the International players in the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown were the winners and runners up of last season’s Bank of Ireland FAI Schools Senior Cups. Carndonagh Community School snatched the Dr. Tony O’Neill National Cup in a thrilling extra time battle over Presentation Brothers College, Cork in Home Farm FC last March. Likewise, Presentation Secondary School, Thurles captured the Senior Girls National Cup defeating Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny in a classic final in Waterford. The players will be hoping for continued success in defending their provincial honours again in 2017 when their schools kick off the season shortly.
These prestigious competitions have featured many high profile players through the years most notably Irish Internationals Seamus Coleman (St. Catherine’s Vocational School, Killybegs) and Stephen Ward (Portmarnock Community School).
Other underage Internationals have tasted National success at schools level including Alan Browne (Nagle Community College), Ryan Manning (Calasanctius College, Oranmore), Connor Ellis (Coláiste Phobail, Bheanntraí), Roma McLaughlin (Moville Community College) and Sarah McKevitt (Presentation SS, Thurles) with Provincial and National Cup titles to their credit.
The interest in schools football has increased over the last number of years with 38,000 players from 510 schools participating nationwide last year.
Speaking about Bank of Ireland’s involvement, Laura Lynch, Head of Youth Banking said: “As Ireland’s leading bank for students, we are delighted to be sponsoring the FAI Schools Post Primary Schools competitions for a third year. Sport plays a very positive role in youth development; helping to build character, foster higher self-esteem, and grow teamwork and leadership skills. The high level of involvement by schools across the country demonstrates the huge appetite out there for initiatives like this. The strength of Bank of Ireland’s school and community ties through its 250-strong branch network makes us the perfect partner to support this competition to continue to grow and develop nationwide.”
Fergus McDaid, FAI Schools Hon. Secretary said, “This is Bank of Ireland’s third year as sponsor of the FAI Schools Post Primary Schools competitions. In our first year of sponsorship we had great feedback from the participating students and from their hard-working teachers. We look forward to seeing lots more children enjoying the Cup/League schedule throughout the coming academic year. These programmes allow all participants to be active, compete on an equal footing and have fun together. Winning of course, is just an added bonus”.
The numerous Cup and League competitions offer huge variety with small and large schools catered for. There are various divisions that accommodate boys and girls from First Year right through to Leaving Certificate. The FAI Schools programme is co-ordinated at provincial level and schools are encouraged to sign up now for the forthcoming season as competitions will be commencing at the end of September.
Diane Fay – National Administrative Officer
M: +353 86 0404 952
FAI Schools Contact Personnel:
Declan McGrath (Boys Section) E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Howard (Girls Section) E: email@example.com
James Rodgers (Boys Section) E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paddy Carr (Girls Section) E: email@example.com
Shane McCormack (Boys Section) E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Grimes (Girls Section) E: email@example.com
Barry McDermott (Boys Section) E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dom Coll (Girls Section) E: email@example.com