Ardee Celtic U14, U15 and U16 players enjoyed a trip of a lifetime over the Easter Holidays when they went to Manchester on tour.
In total, a panel of 27 players and six mentors embarked on the four day trip which incorporated a series of four friendly matches, a trip to the Reebok Stadium to see the Bolton v Fulham Premiership match, a training session with Manchester City coaches, a talk with motivation coach Simon Cooper (author of “Football for Life”), and a trip to the Trafford Centre.
The lads enjoyed matches against Broadheath Central JFC (Tom Cleverley and Alex Bruce’s schoolboy club) in Manchester and against Springhead AFC in Oldham.
Over the four matches there were many excellent team and individual performances. Tommy Molloy, Andrew Cullen, Brendan Matthews, and David Anderson all picked up ‘Man of the Match’ awards while the Top Scorer award went to Ryan Rooney who netted three times. Also on the score sheet were Jason McKeown (2), Aidan-Lee Martin (2), Glen Matthews (2), and Eolann Aiken.
There were many highlights over the hectic schedule, including recreation time in the hotel swimming pool, but by far the biggest highlight reported was the training session at the Manchester City Academy where the players got an opportunity to work with professional coaches in state of the art facilities.
The club hopes to run similar trips on an annual basis and look forward to further training sessions at other leading clubs. The destination for next year’s trip has yet to be decided but speculation is rife with many suggestions on the table.
A big thanks goes out to Carol and Robert McQuillan who organised the trip in conjunction with David Berber at DB Sports. Thanks also to coaches and mentors Pat Ward, Paddy Griffin, Trevor Martin and Denis McCourt and also Jeff the dedicated bus driver for the entire trip.
A big shout out to Broadheath and Springhead clubs whose hospitality was second to none – we look forward to returning the favour at a future date!
Ardee Celtic squad: Gary Aylward, Barry Kirk, Josh Bishun, Ben O’Brien, Aaron Keeley, Andrew Cullen, Ryan Collins, Glen Matthews, Mark Lenehan, Tommy Molloy, James Carraher, Alan Carraher, Aaron O’Brien, Ryan Ward, James Conlon, Daire McConnon, Oisin McAleenan, Ross McQuillan, Ryan Rooney, BJ Matthews, Killian Byrne, Eolann Aiken, Brendan Matthews, Aidan-Lee Martin, Sean Clarke, Jason McKeown, David Anderson.