Celtic’s relentless run to NDSL victory

by James Hendicott

SWORDS CELTIC’s Under-14 side have had a fantastic season, winning their NDSL Premier division as well as going deep into a prestigious tournament in Britain.
For team manager Joe Gannon, he puts progress down to the twin contributions of UEFA A licensed coach Daire Doyle – who also coaches at Longford Town – and an innovative fitness regime.
The side won their league after a playoff with Corduff, with both sides having only lost to each other over the course of the league. The two sides had records of played 18, won 17 lost one.
In the playoff, the pair drew 2-2 over 70 minutes but Celtic eventually prevailed emphatic 5-2 winners after 20 minutes of extra time.
“You could really see the difference in the fitness of the lads based on their training this year,” Gannon told the Dublin Gazette. “The opposition started bouncing off them. In that extra time, it made all the difference; it’s great to see.”
The side also impressed in the prestigious ESF Festival of Football in England. Winning their regional qualifier by defeating Wallsend Boys – former team of Alan Shearer, Steve Bruce and Michael Carrick – 1-0 in the final, they progressed to play at St George’s, home of the English FA.
In a tournament that had over a thousand initial entrants, Swords Celtic won two group games out of three in the last eight stage before being pipped 2-1 by Rushden and Diamonds.
Striker Adam Naughton (who top scored for the team) midfielder Matthew O’Brien and goalkeeper Ben Smith are amongst the team’s key players.
On the fitness front, Charlotte Roughan delivers sessions called Relentless 24 Fitness with the team. They have been at the heart of much of Celtic’s good work with their weekly 24-minute sessions – likely to be extended to twice weekly – at the heart of the side’s regime.
Roughan’s new business is based out of Airside, Swords, and came about after she was injured at work, and required to have her L5 vertebrae – the largest – removed.
After an 11-week personal fitness period, Roughan started up her business with the aim of helping with strength, form and flexibility, as well as to fulfill her own vital post-injury workout needs in between shifts at Aer Lingus.
“They had shocking form when they started!” Roughan recalls of the under-14 side. “We use five kg weights, and do 6-minute sessions each aimed at the upper body, lower body, core and cardio fitness.
“I did some work with them back in the summer and found that after half an hour, I was losing them, they were losing form,” Roughan tells us. “The difference is unbelievable and it’s great to get them started at this age.”
Roughan trains people of all levels and abilities and you can find her business by searching her name on Facebook.
Swords Celtic, meanwhile, are through to the last 32 of the national cup, and will face Waterford’s Villa FC in late January when they will be at Under-15 level.

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