TEODOROVIC REFLECTS ON MEMORABLE KENNEDY CUP CAMPAIGN 

Teodorovic’s side came agonisingly close to winning the prestigious silverware but a narrow 1-0 defeat to opponents South Belfast ended the player’s hopes of lifting the trophy. 
TEODOROVIC REFLECTS ON MEMORABLE KENNEDY CUP CAMPAIGN 

The Cork U14 Kennedy Cup team

THE Cork SL squad went into the final of the 2021 Kennedy Cup hoping to become just the fourth CSL side to win the trophy in its over four decades of existence.

Zoran Teodorovic’s side came agonisingly close to winning the prestigious silverware but a narrow 1-0 defeat to opponents South Belfast ended the player’s hopes of lifting the trophy. 

Instead, this team managed to end a 14-year wait for a Cork team to get to the final.

After topping their group, Cork went on to beat Limerick District in a tight 1-0 away victory in the quarter finals thanks to a first-rate Aaron Murphy goal. 

Zoran Teodorovic’s side then travelled to the RSC Sports Complex in Waterford in the semi-finals. 

On the day, the Leesiders deservedly earned the all-important victory in a confidence boosting 2-1 win at the expense of hosts Waterford. 

Goals from Colm Harte and Eoin Howell helped Cork Secure the win. 

Difficult conditions didn’t help Cork in the final and it was South Belfast who were ultimately crowned Kennedy Cup champions.

When asked if he considered the season to be a successful one, Teodorovic stated:

“When the dust settles and our wounds heal from that defeat in the final, I think we will look back at this season as a massive success. 

"The development and progress made by the players since our first training session in June has been phenomenal. 

"Players came together to form a tight connection all the while developing as players and people, making friends for life. 

Colm Harte, Cork , controlling the ball against Limerick in the Schoolboy League in the Kennedy Cup Quarter Finals in Fairview
Colm Harte, Cork , controlling the ball against Limerick in the Schoolboy League in the Kennedy Cup Quarter Finals in Fairview

"This is probably bigger than any trophy we could have won and it's what already made our season a success before we even got to the final.

“The football we played in the Kennedy Cup and in a number of friendly matches throughout the season was fantastic to see as it showed the capabilities of the players we had at our disposal and the high ceiling they possessed. 

"Obviously, where there are positives, there are always negatives and they come in the shape of regret of not being able to give some players more game time in competitive games and to not being able to showcase our style of play that we worked so hard on due to conditions we faced on the day of the final.” 

Tedorovic stated that the campaign has created memorable moments for everyone involved.

“Every Kennedy Cup game with this squad was a highlight in its own way. 

"From the football we played, to the togetherness the players showed off and on the pitch. 

"We, as coaches are grateful of the fact that we to work with these players. Every game we played will stand out in its own way and I am sure every coach and player will have a different stand out moment of their own.” 

The Cork manager insisted that ‘togetherness’ was the team’s main strength.

“This team possessed many strengths both on and off the field. It takes a special kind of group to go out every weekend and fight against each other with their clubs before successfully joining up together with the Cork squad thereafter. 

"Until the final moment of our final day spent together, this team of players spent fighting for one another, helping and encouraging each other, and both celebrating and hurting together.” 

James O'Brien and Colm Harte, Cork up in the air for the ball against Jayden O'Donovan, Limerick in the Schoolboy League in the Kennedy Cup Quarter Finals in Fairview
James O'Brien and Colm Harte, Cork up in the air for the ball against Jayden O'Donovan, Limerick in the Schoolboy League in the Kennedy Cup Quarter Finals in Fairview

Teodorovic also made sure to thank some a number of individuals.

“Many individuals deserve thanks from the fantastic coaches who I can't praise enough in Mark Turner and Paul O'Brien, our goalkeeping coach Noel Cantwell and our physio Stewart Dollery, all the way to the Cork Schoolboys League chairman Peter Connolly who made this season a smooth ride and allowed us to just worry about the team and the football side of things.

“I'd also like to thank all the parents for their support and to Innishvilla AFC for providing their facilities throughout the season and making us feel at home. 

"The fantastic referees who answered the call any time we needed them for friendly and competitive matches deserve acknowledgement too as does David Moroney from BWG who provided players with healthy snacks every match day.” 

Teodorovic stated that the players themselves deserved special congratulations.

“As a final word I'd like to congratulate the players on their achievement as I am sure they don't realise just yet the magnitude of their accomplishment. 

"Some will go on to much higher level of football in the near future, some will take a different path in life but this season and what they've achieved is something that will connect them forever."

Cork: Kian Lane (Mayfield United), Mike Malisa (Passage), James O’Flaherty ( College Corinthians), Gallilo Erhabor (Mallow Town), James Coyne (Youghal United), James O’Brien (College Corinthians), Zach Forde (Leeds), Robert O’Leary (Douglas Hall), Keelan Kavanagh (Douglas Hall), Colm Harte, (Carrigtwohill United), Eoin Howell (Mallow Town), Evan Cummins (Springfield Ramblers), Kyle Moroney, (Carrigaline United), Johnathon McLaughlin (Douglas Hall), Dylan McCarthy (Douglas Hall), Dylan Lyons, (Midleton), Jack Barry (Passage), Alex Uwumarogie (Mallow Town), Adam O’Mahony (Lakewood Athletic), Billy Higgins (College Corinthians), Jack Morley (Riverstown), Rollie Durango (Carrigtwohill United), Aaron Murphy (Mallow United), Dylan O’Rourke (Leeds), David Ebo (Midleton).

Coaches: Zoran Teodorovic (Manager), Mark Turner (Coach), Paul O’Brien (Coach), Noel Cantwell (Goalkeeping Coach), Stewart Dollery (Physio).

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