Donegal U-17 Development team
The 4th ever Under 17 National Academy Blitz took place on Tuesday in the perfect surroundings of the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown. Teams traveled from right across the country to take part in the blitz and from further afield teams from both London and New York also took part in the action.
The Academy system offers players an opporunity to compete at Under 17 level and bridge the gap between Minor and Under 16 level. The players are allowed to develop their skills under the tutelage of some of the best coaches in the country. The academies are aimed at increasing the pool of players available within a county as well as offering players, that may not have previously represented their county, an opportunity to pull on their county jersey and compete against players of a similar standard.
The counties were split into 4 groups with Kerry 1, London, Donegal, Roscommon and Tipperary competing in Group 1. Kerry 2, Cork 1, Dublin, Galway and Laois comprised Group 2. Group 3 consisted of Kildare, Cork 2, Clare and Wicklow with the 4th Group made of Cork 3, New York, Limerick and Meath.
Each of the games lasted between 8-11 minutes with the winners of each group progressing to the Cup Final whilst the Runners up progressed to the Shield Final and the 3rd placed teams competing in the Plate Final. No fewer than 50 matches took place throughout the day in the superb surrounds of Abbotstown which really leant itself to some top class football.
Dublin and Donegal were the two teams to progress to the Cup final, after Dublin defeated Clare in their semi final and Donegal denied a talented group from New York in the other semi final. Dublin maintained their incredible form that they had demonstrated throughout the day as they claimed the Cup title on a scoreline of Dublin 4:08 to Donegal’s 0:01. Wicklow had a fantastic tournament and they will be particularly delighted to have defeated Kerry in the Shield final, Kerry had already accounted for Cork 1 in their semi final. Limerick ensured that some silverware made it’s way to Munster as they claimed the plate after defeating Roscommon in an exciting match with the Treaty county emerging victorious on a scoreline of Roscommon 1:04 to Limerick’s 2:06
The Donegal management team was Liam Skelly, John Gibbons, Donal Sharkey, Aine Reilly and Maura Mc Cruuden with captain Aimee Bonner St Marys Convoy.