St Kevin’s set to host the Academy Cup this weekend

by James Hendicott
St Kevin's Boys will host The Academy Cup this weekend

Ireland’s most successful youth soccer club, St Kevin’s, are set to host The Academy Cup, a tournament that’s been dubbed ‘The World’s Best Youth Tournament’, over the Easter weekend.

Playing at their Shanowen Road ground on March 30, March 31 and April 1, the Whitehall Club – former home of a host of internationals, including Damian Duff, Liam Brady, Jeff Hendricks and Stephen Carr – will take on five invited international teams at under-13 level across three days.

Kevin’s early opponents at the popular tournament this time around are Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid, while the other group of three side contains West Bromwich Albion, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid youth sides.

The opening four group games will be played on Friday March 30, with Kevin’s opening the tournament with a 10am kick off against Leverkusen. There’s a particularly eye catching contest between Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund to close out the first-day action at 17.30, at which point two of three games in each group will have been played.

The final group games take place on the Saturday morning, before the semi-finals in the early evening. The latter will see the teams that place first and second in each three-team group all in action as they play for final places.

The Sunday, April 1, will see all six teams return to the fray, with the 5th/6th place play-off at 10am, followed directly by the third place play-off and the final, kicking off at 13.30.

While several of the clubs involved are regulars at the Academy Cup (West Brom, in particular, due to a long-standing Kevin’s connection), the two German sides will be making their debut, so represent a bit of an unknown quantity.

Barcelona return as holders in a tournament forged in 2009, as part of St Kevin’s 50th anniversary celebrations, and Kevin’s themselves will be looking to score their first tournament victory against world class youth level opposition.

Weekend passes for all three days cost €20, while adults can get into a two-game session for €5, and under-16s for €2.

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