On the 7th July, the Rebel Óg football development squads competed in Munster Competitions at u14, u15 and u16 lage grades. The Cork Football teams captured the u15 and u16 tournaments while the u14s competition is entering its second phase on the 28th July with 2 out of the 4 Cork sides in contention for victory.
Rebel Og U16 Development Squads
The U16 “White” squad won their tournament in Limerick beating Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary. The manner of victory was particularly pleasing given the very attractive style of free flowing football on display. Cork were the only county to have entered 2 panels for this competition. The “Red” squad also produced excellent football on the day but came up short against Tipperary in their first game before beating Clare and Waterford to reach the Plate final.
They were second best to Kerry in this final but the management team were very happy with how the group performed. This was the first time that Cork have won this tournament in 6 years and bodes well for this crop heading in to U17 next year where they will be reunited with Bobbie O Dwyer, now in charge of theUu17s but who also managed this group at U15 level in 2017. U16 Squads here
Rebel Og U15 Development Squads
The U15 West squad won the Humphrey Kelleher Tournament beating Limerick and South Kerry before brushing aside the challenge of North Kerry in the final. The Cork East squad beat Clare before losing to North Kerry by 1 point after extra time in a thrilling semi final. The two Cork panels were split geographically with the West consisting of players from Carbery, Beara, Carrigdhoun & Muskerry. The East squad comprised of players from Avondhu, Duhallow, Imokilly & Seandun. The East squad can feel somewhat aggrieved not to have made it to the final given the amount of unconverted chances they had in the North Kerry game but overall, the management teams in both squads know they have a competitive group of boys and have quality players at their disposal based on performances on the day. They will be in action again on the 28th July as a qualifier blitz for the Adam Mangan Tournament in Offaly so their focus has already moved to that.
U15 Squads here
Rebel Og U14 Development Squads
The U14 Jim Power tournament in Waterford is now a 2 day event. Cork North and Cork City East are going forward to the Cup Competition having qualified from their groups while the West and Mid West will compete in the Plate competition having lost out on goal difference to qualify. These finals will be on the 28th July. Cork GAA Games Manager, Kevin O Callaghan says “Cork Football is the real winner at this age group with 120 players in the system being exposed to competitive representative football. This provides a huge base of players being developed throughout the year and will ensure players are being afforded every opportunity to progress.” U14 Squads here
O Callaghan notes “While these are development tournaments only, capturing 2 of the 3 cups on offer (and the potential to win the third) is a reflection of the hard work being put in to the football squads at present. The mentors involved are putting in massive effort to aid the players development and deserve great credit here. Rebel Óg and Rebel Óg Coaching are putting a huge amount of effort in to the development squads programme and James McCarthy GDA heads up this football effort. The cooperation between minor management and underage squads beneath them is better than ever before, the conditioning of the underage players is more advanced than any year prior to 2018.”
There are still deficits in the system but perhaps the future of Cork Football is not as bleak as some people might believe this week. Well done to all the players, their clubs and mentors involved with these groups, nice to get some recognition for the hard work and commitment to the cause.