Peamount U-16s undefeated

by Gazette Reporter
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Peamount United were celebrating last weekend after they topped off a hugely successful season by retaining the FAI Umbro Women’s Under-16 cup against Salthill Devon at the AUL Complex.

The result sealed an unbeaten season for the girls, which has seen them secure the Metropolitan Girls’ League league and cup double, as well as the Leinster Cup title.

The deciding goal came from a free-kick from Eleanor Ryan-Doyle, the only goal Salthill shipped in their FAI cup campaign, and they had no response against the well-drilled Peamount side.

Reflecting on the 2012-13 season, team manager Noel Kealy said that this group have enjoyed unprecedented success this past year.

“They have had great success in the league representative squads in the Metropolitan Girls League, and in the Arsenal Cup over at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield where they were just beaten in the final.

“There were ten of our players in that side, and they have also enjoyed international success in terms of the number of players who travelled to Russia for the Under-17s, in the side who have qualified for Romania.”

Kealy explained that the side has been bolstered by bringing in members of last year’s Under-14 panel into the Under-16 squad.

“We have a number of young players who we have brought up for the national competition, and there are five or six internationals in that group as well. It has been a long hard road for a lot of them.”

That long road has been paved with trophies, however, and Kealy said that their successes in all competitions have been down to the team’s strength in depth, their coaching structure and the longevity and consistency of the group.

“I have had these girls now for the last six years, and seven of the group who started with me then were in the panel on Sunday. It has been a continuous evolution.

“They have been together a long time, all understand the same style of football, and are great friends. The structure that is built in has brought these results.”

As for the FAI final, it was a tactical battle against both the opposition and the elements on the day.

“Salthill are a big, physical side, and they came at us fairly strongly to close us down. They had done their homework on our style of play,” said Kealy.

“They played with the wind in the first half, and we played a high back line. We changed our tactics based on the weather.

“In the second half, we pushed up the pitch and kept everything down. Over the balance of the game, it was our tactics that worked out better.”

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