Lucan trio line out for Ireland

by Stephen Findlater
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LUCAN United trio Tony O’Dowd, Mark O’Neill and Mark Rutherford all represented the Republic of Ireland Over-40s last Saturday against the Czech Republic in a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland at Whitehall.

O’Dowd started in goal for the Irish while O’Neill was also in the starting 11 with Rutherford coming off the bench at Whitehall.

They fell 1-0 to a Czech Republic side that featured a string of top internationals including the towering 6’7’’ Jan Koller who scored 55 senior international goals in his career, including one against Ireland back in 2006 in the European championships qualifiers.

His strike in the 69th minute was the only goal of the game played in front of a crowd of 1,000 fans as he got on the end of a back post cross to head home.

The Over-40s side was set up this year with O’Neill very much a prime organiser of the site and the side has now achieved official FAI status as the representative team at this level of competition.

Speaking about the match afterwards, O’Neill said: “We got turned over but they came in with five very experienced players including Koller, Ivo Ulich, Karol Rada and Martin Hysky.

“We missed four or five chances and should have at least drawn the game. I’m just glad that Patrick Berger and Vladimir Smicer pulled out!”

Among those to go close in the latter phases of the tie were Rutherford and Marc Kenny who both emerged from the bench to good effect.

The game proved a good fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and helped their dual cause in tackling the issues of mental and physical health by allowing players to prolong their careers into their 40s.

Ireland will next meet Wales at the same venue on September 28 before an enticing tie against the Ajax Over-40s, who could bringing the likes of Ronald De Boer, Marc Overmars and Aaron Winter to Dublin on November 9.

Elsewhere, the Lucan United FC Academy is under way and runs every Saturday morning at 11am for four-, five-, six- and seven-year-olds. All coaches are UEFA licensed and players can just turn up any Saturday to register at the club’s grounds in Airlie Heights in Dodsboro.

The club also requires players for their Under-13A1 and Under-13C teams. Please contact Dave Monaghan if interested 087 6444439. They are also looking for sponsorship for their schoolboy section. If interested in sponsoring a set of jerseys, contact John on 0879 088085.

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