CARRIGALINE United are starting to ramp up the planning process for the potential return to competitive schoolboys soccer in September.
The club as a whole has grown hugely over the past decade with Ballea Park, in particular, enjoying a first-rate upgrade. The top of the range astro-pitches and floodlights alongside the exceptional club grounds are among the best in the country.
In terms of competing for honours prior to the SFAI’s cancellation of the 2019/2020 campaign, Carrigaline United had a number of teams in contention for silverware.
The U12s were third in the Blackwater Motors U12 Premier. Mallow and Leeside were among the favourites to win the title with Carrigaline 7 points off the top but the youngsters were certainly still in with a chance.
In the U16 SFAI National Cup, St. Mary’s, Mallow United, Carrigaline United and Ringmahon Rangers made it through the round of 32 and only Carrigaline made it all the way through to the semi-finals of the competition where the Ballea Park side could still play either Kiltimagh Knock United or Shannon Town.
The SFAI could potentially reverse their decision to cancel the SFAI Skechers National Cups for the current season and if there is a situation that allows for a safe conclusion of the competition, the Carrigaline United U16 side will be just two victories away from national glory.
Plenty of other Carrigaline teams progressed well in the cup competitions and lower leagues too but the focus for the majority of youngsters will turn to the 2020/2021 season now.
Schoolboys Club chairman Bryan McCarthy explained how the club has reacted in the current situation, “We are getting emails from the FAI in relation to plans going forward and the CSL have been in contact with guidelines also so we are very much working hard at planning at the moment.
All the managers are keeping up communication with the players and some have used WhatsApp and other social media to focus on training and drills.
“As a club, we are planning for the return of competitive football in September and we also are looking at ways to safely start training sessions in July. This is a new situation for everyone and it is important we continue to adhere to the safety guidelines.”
The chairman also reflected on the U16 team’s current predicament, “If the team got the go-ahead to finish the 2019/2020 National Cup, it would be great if it is safe to do so. We understand the difficulties the SFAI are presented with at present but if they find a way to conclude the tournament, our players would obviously be raring to go and everyone would be looking forward to the prospect of reaching a national final.”