Monthly Archives: May 2019

Gerry Reynolds Memorial Cup

The County Down STATSports SuperCup NI squad finished runners up at the Gerry Reynolds Memorial Cup in their first outing together, with a record of two wins and one loss.

Kicking off the tournament Gary McAlister’s side faced Dubliner’s Cherry Orchard and it took only 9 minutes for the impressive Scott Atchison to get his name on the scoresheet, following good work from Joe Hopes at the back. Four minutes later Bradley Ingram powered down the left hand side, before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the right hand side of the net to increase his side’s lead.

Atchison was on the scoresheet again within a minute of the restart, with the Crusaders striker hanging in the air to meet a good cross from the right with a power header, before Orchard grabbed a late consolation.

County Armagh were next up and it was Sam Glenfield’s turn to find the net, with a neat finish under the keeper on 16 minutes. The second half was only a minute old when Seamus McNulty struck an unstoppable freekick from 25 yards. Atchison grabbed his third of the tournament in the 12th minute of the second half, before Harry Norton tapped in to an open net four minutes later to complete the scoring.

The final game of the day saw the County Down men up against the Friends Select Academy, with a soft penalty being the difference between the sides, which was converted past keeper Matthew Evans, despite his best attempts to reach the ball with a dive to his left.

Although there was disappointment not to come away with the trophy, Manager Gary McAlister was happy with his squad’s overall performance and attitude, highlighting that the tournament was a good exercise, which provided a valuable lesson as a defeat in the opening game of the SuperCup NI would bring his side’s chances of success to an end.

County Down player of the tournament went to Glentoran’s Harry Wilson, who showed great composure and a reading of the game beyond his years from the centre of the defence.

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2019 Trials…we hear from the Managers

Over the last number of weeks a series of trials have taken place to help the team of selectors identify the talent to deliver a successful week for the 18 person Junior and Premier squads.

After closing observing the skill sets on offer Junior Squad manager, Gary McAlister, was enthusiastic about his side’s chances noting

“The selectors and I have been very impressed with the talent on show. We had over 100 players to assess over the last 6 weeks and decisions to cut this to 18 have not been easy. We are confident that we have assembled a great squad to compete at this year’s tournament and look forward to Thursday’s draw too see what challenges lie ahead”

John Bailie, Premier Squad Manager, added

“I’ve been very impressed by the standard of player who have attended trials recently. This year there has been a really good blend of 2002 and 2003 age groups and it is very likely that this year’s squad will contain quite a few younger players”.

Moving forward Gary and John will be selecting their final squads, who will then embark in a programme of training sessions and matches to give them every chance of success, with the aim to bring trophies back to County Down.

This year’s tournament kicks off on Sunday 28th July with the Opening Parade & Ceremony and conclude with the Finals on Friday 2nd August, 2019.

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Trials 05 May 2019

Today’s trials have now concluded and it is now time for the coaches to sit down and reflect, with some tough decisions to be made in the days ahead.

Starting of this morning Coach John Bailie and his team took their players through a light training session, before embarking in a game against Friends Academy.

Our boys ran out comprehensive winners, however on this occasion the scoreline played second to giving the players an opportunity to showcase their skills and putting themselves in the frame for one of those all-important places in the final squad.

We would like to thank the players and staff from Friends Academy for assisting in the trial, which is greatly appreciated.

Moving forward into the afternoon and it was the turn of the Juniors to push themselves forward into Coach Gary McAlister’s thoughts.

Split into two teams the trialists performed as we thought they would, showing great determination and exceptional skills, providing great optimism for us to make a firm impression in this year’s STATSport SuperCup NI.

Over the course of the last few weeks there have been numerous players who have given their all to warrant their place in the final squads and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts.

Additionally, to the parents and guardians who have given their time to bring the boys to the trails and stand through the all too familiar Northern Ireland weather, we would like to please on record our gratitude.

Those players selected or do not make the final squads will be notified by letter in due course.

We would like to make it clear at this stage that in accepting a place in the final squad, those players are committed to attend every training session, so that we have every chance of not just performing in the tournament, but winning it.

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