Cork soccer: Carrigtwohill United continue to thrive from underage to adult

East Cork club now have two teams competing in the U12, U13, U14 and U15 Cork Schoolboys Leagues
Cork soccer: Carrigtwohill United continue to thrive from underage to adult

Carrigtwohill United subs watching on as their team take on Castleview in their U13 division 2 match at Ballyadam, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

CARRIGTWOHILL UNITED is a club on the up.

The East Cork club is looking to build on the success it has had over the past several seasons.

This season has been a historic one for the club with Carrigtwohill fielding their first girls' team at U13 level.

Five years ago, the club fulfilled an ambition of having a schoolboys team to represent the club at every underage level but today, they also have two teams competing in the U12, U13, U14 and U15 leagues.

Club secretary John Barry who has helped steer the club through the past several years said: “We have experienced exponential growth over the last five or six years. So much so that we are finding it challenging to cater for it.

“Five years ago, we achieved what you could say is the standard by having a team represent the club at every level, but such has been the growth that we now have two schoolboys teams competing at U12, U13, U14 and U15 level.

“But that does come with its challenges because it’s difficult trying to find times that will suit everyone to train.

“The men’s teams train twice a week, and everyone ideally wants to train either Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.

“It can be tough to find time slots for every team. Then you have the issue of trying to find coaches for these teams because what is often the case for one reason or another is that coaches tend to start with a team at a young age, maybe U7s and take them right through schoolboy level. 

 Hugh Crowley in action for Carrigtwohill United against Avondale United. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Hugh Crowley in action for Carrigtwohill United against Avondale United. Picture: Larry Cummins.

"It can be tough finding someone who wants to take a team at U12 level.

“It was great to see that we had success on the pitch with our U14s last season, with both our primary team and secondary team winning their respective leagues. We are really starting to see the benefit of having two teams competing at each level. We aren’t turning players away and that means no one is missing out.

“It gives us the opportunity to work with players and help them develop when we may not have had the opportunity in the past. That being said; it’s been great for us to have our first girls team this year.

“ How we set it up was that we advertised locally and through the schools that we would hold a taster session which involved three training sessions to see if the girls enjoyed it. From that, we had great responses and we were able to field a girls' team in the U13 league this season.

“Of course it will be a little bit challenging because for some of them it is their first time playing competitively, and they are coming up against some really good teams, teams that have been together for a number of years, whereas our team is newly formed.

“We also have an U11s team. They will be involved in a non-competitive league, and we then have our U7s and U9s that will compete in blitzes.

“It’s all-new for the girls. Some of them have never played before so they are learning all about the rules of the games and everything that goes with it, but we have been really pleased with how everything has gone so far.”

 Matti Hodnett, Carrigtwohill United, breaking past Liam Fielding, Castleview, in their U13 Division 2 match. Picture: Dan Linehan
Matti Hodnett, Carrigtwohill United, breaking past Liam Fielding, Castleview, in their U13 Division 2 match. Picture: Dan Linehan

Carrigtwohill United aren’t the only team to play their matches at Ballyadam. The club pride themselves on being part of the community and recently started hosting games for one of the local secondary schools — St Aloysius’ College — after being approached by the school to allow their games be played at Ballyadam.

“We were contacted by the school about allowing their school teams to use our facilities for their home matches.

We were only too happy to help out because we are part of a community and it benefits everyone.

“We would prepare the pitch exactly like we would as if it was one of our own teams playing. We would have the pitches lined, the nets would be up and the grass would be cut.

“We have had a few games here already and hopefully — weather dependent — we will have a few more games over the coming weeks.

“It’s great because some of the players with the school team also play with us so it’s great to have that linkup. We will always do anything we can to help out the local area.”

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