The increasing strength and depth of Ballymoney United Youth Academy was evident this week at the Foyle cup with four boys teams and one girls team in action.
The Ballymoney sides all produced some excellent performances and the Club’s Youth Development Co-ordinator Simon Shaw couldn’t have been happier.
“We were excellent across the board,” commented Simon. “Each of our teams had won all eight games by the third day which is when things get down to the cutting edge.
“The Under-10s were runners-up in their group and finished sixth place in the Plate. The Under-11s won their group and lost on penalties in the quarter final of the Cup.
“The Under-12s won their group and lost in the quarter finals to the team who went on to win the cup and as far as I know they were the only local team to make it to the cup quarter final.
“The Under-13s finished second in their group and played in the Plate and the Under-11 girls finished second in their group and lost in the final of the Plate 1-0 to a very experienced Bangor Ladies side.
“All the coaches deserve credit for the work they have done with their teams, they have certainly done Ballymoney United Youth Academy proud.”
There is obviously a wealth of talent in the Ballymoney area which this progessive Academy is developing.
“The future is looking very good,” added Simon. “We have over 300 kids participating in the Academy and our philosphy is never to turn anyone away. We welcome everyone, irrespective of their ability and I think this has a lot to do with the success we have and what drives us forward. We are delighted to see the progression with the girls at the academy. We have around 50 girls registered and the interest just keeps growing. We have four of our girls in the County squad which is brilliant and that encourages the others to keep training and developing.
“It has been a great week for the Academy and we are looking forward to the start of the season again when we will continue to take it forward.”