Cork U14 squad still hoping Kennedy Cup tournament takes place this year

Cork U14 squad still hoping Kennedy Cup tournament takes place this year
Cork captain Jack Cunningham lifts the Plate trophy following the Plate Final match between Cork and Wexford during the SFAI Kennedy Cup finalsin 2018. Picture: Tom Beary/Sportsfile

ALONG with countless young players and coaches, Cork Kennedy Cup manager Stephen Bermingham is waiting to see what will happen with his soccer team this summer. 

The FAI are hoping amateur teams can return to training in early August with games to resume on August 28. Further details will have to be finalised by the various leagues so the U14s in line to represent Cork in the prestigious Kennedy Cup are still in the dark.

The prestigious Kennedy Cup tournament features talented players from all 32 of the SFAI leagues and the annual competition is currently hanging in the balance. Reports today, suggest the event won't be held for the first time since 1976.

The tournament welcomes squads of 20 U14 players to compete over an entire week of action with each team holding high hopes of winning silverware.

This season however, it seems a real possibility that the players who have worked so hard preparing for their Kennedy Cup turn, may miss out on the opportunity.

Players like Damien Duff, Ian Harte, John O’Shea and Roy Keane have all fondly looked back on their time competing in the competition, with the latter captaining Cork to success back in 1984.

Stephen Bermingham is both mindful of the health of everyone at present and aware that the FAI are in a difficult position.

“We just have to wait and see what the FAI and SFAI say in relation to the possibility of football but the health and safety of everyone is most important. The FAI have a lot of things to take into account and hopefully a solution can be found soon. The important thing at the moment is that everyone in the country follows the guidelines set out by the experts.”

Bermingham is still making sure his players are training from home.

“We have sent out strength and conditioning programs to the players and their parents are helping them which is great. Also, we are having group sessions via Zoom online and the players continue to work very hard as they have done all season.”

Bermingham is choosing to look to the positives at the moment too.

“The players are getting the opportunity to really focus on areas where they might not have in the past and this is a real positive. Everyone is getting the chance to upskill elsewhere and this will undoubtedly stand to people when normality resumes.”

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