LIFFEY Valley Rangers held their fourth annual Brian McEneff Memorial Tournament last Friday on a day that, as always, was packed with quality football, great support and smiles on young faces.
After weeks of preparation, Ballyowen Park was set and ready on Good Friday as the Valley welcomed Ballyoulster United, Esker Celtic, Jobstown Celtic, Kilnamanagh, and Sacred Heart to take part in the Under-9s tournament.
Rangers themselves fielded two teams in the tournament, an A and B side, the latter of which was made up of Under-8 players and four of their girls, one of whom was Brian McEneff’s granddaughter, which was an added touch for the watching family.
Despite a wet and dull start to the day, about 250 people gathered around the three pitches marked side by side as the tournament kicked off just after 10am.
This year’s competition was formatted slightly differently than previous years, with two groups which meant every team was guaranteed at least five games.
The weather picked up gradually as the day moved on but the level of football on show from every team was at its peak for the entire day, as games were played quick and fast, with an abundance of goals, saves, passing and tackles on show.
Despite there being a final at the end of the day, results were primarily at the back of people’s minds as the smiles on the players faces being treated to a football filled Friday was the real result for everyone involved.
That’s not to say the young players held back in their ambitions to be crowned champions at the end of the day, and it was Liffey Valley’s A side and Jobstown who contested the final.
It was the Tallaght outfit who came out on top in a brilliant final which rounded off five hours of excellent schoolboy football.
The presentation was carried out after the final, where every player from every team received a medal. Jobstown were presented with their trophy by Marian McEneff, the wife of the club’s former liaison officer for whom the tournament remembers.
Coaches and parents from all visiting clubs did not hold back in their praise for how the day was run by Liffey Valley, with one parent overheard at the presentation stating it was the “best day of football he had attended in a long time”.