Our U15 and U19 academy players received a great reception from the Oriel Park faithful on Friday night when they were presented with medals to recognise their achievements this season.
The U15 squad (pictured above), coached by Simon Kelly and his assistants Derek Delany and Shay Quigley, were presented with the trophy for winning their EA SPORTS National Underage League Plate during the half-time interval against Bohemians last Friday.
Meanwhile, the U19 squad, managed by Tiarnan Mulvenna and his coaching team of Mark Griffin, John Sharkey, Andrew Morrisey and Mark Byrne, received their runners-up medals after finishing second in their tier.
It was a successful season all around for the academy. You can read academy director Derek Boyle’s full review.
After starting the year with a pre-season competition in Lyon during the summer, the U14s, managed by Harry McShane and his coaching team of Sean O’Hare, Pairic Browne and Craig Gray, played 16 competitive games.
They finished as runners-up in their final group and were knocked out in the quarter-final of the playoffs.
Jack Martin’s form in front of the goal saw him called up for international assessments.
In total, the U15s played 28 competitive games, winning 12 of the last 14 to win their final group and the U15 Plate.
Conall Alfred was called in for international assessments while Luke Mulligan, who has been named in the Republic of Ireland U16 squad for this week’s Victory Shield trained with Stephen O’Donnell’s first-team squad over the summer.
Luke, along with players like Danny Putnam, Cian Spaight and more stepped up and featured regularly for the club’s U17 team towards the end of the season.
Under the guidance of James Toner, Conor Woods and Kevin Beggy, the U17 boys came fourth in Tier One behind Shelbourne, St Patrick’s and Shamrock Rovers.
The lads finished the season on a high, winning five and drawing one of their final six games and at least seven members of the squad also featured for the U19s.
Four players – Aidan Russell, Tom McLoughlin, Jake Hough and Callum Bonner were all called into the U18 international schools’ squad while Senan Mullen and Eoin Kenny won caps for the Republic of Ireland U17 squad with the Northern Ireland U18s respectively.
Our WU17 team enjoyed a brilliant first season in the Women’s National League, narrowly missing out on a place in the final after a 2-1 defeat to Peamount United in the semi-final.
Following Roberto Bonello’s departure, Jason McConville came in and alongside coaches, Phil Cox, and Pat Campbell and Head of Women’s Football, Bernard Freeman, guided the team on a wonderful run which saw them lose just one of their final 12 games.
Competing in the Dublin Metropolitan Girls League, the U16 season is only four games in and Matthew Freeman and Ryan Cleary’s team has made a fine start, winning three and drawing one of their four games thus far.
Goalkeeper Laura Fanning has been named in the Republic of Ireland U16 squad for the upcoming double header with Switzerland. Laura, along with Niamh Norton, has also been named in the Leinster Schools squad for the upcoming Interpro tournament.
The U19s enjoyed a brilliant season, finishing as runners-up to St Patrick’s Athletic.
A total of 10 players were called up for international assessments while three players – Oisin Coleman, Michael Keyes and Tadgh Walsh – played for the Irish international school teams. Walsh captained the side while Coleman finished the season with an impressive 13 goals from midfield.
Despite a big turnover in the summer which saw five players move to SSE Airtricity League clubs and a further two go to the USA on scholarships, the team finished the season strongly.
Ryan O’Kane and Emmanuel Adegboyega progressed to the first-team squad while Senan Mullen became the first Dundalk player to receive the EA SPORTS National Underage League’s Player of the Month award and also trained with the first team.