The all-conquering U13 Town AFC team have been on a hot-streak, completing the Galway League and Cup doubles and emerging victorious upon a visit to the Netherlands at the Brabant International Cup.
Played in Holland’s sweltering heat, the U13s faced against Belgian, Dutch and German squads on their path to the final against California’s MVLA Academy. Local AFC player Callum Conway scored a superb 25 yard free kick to secure their victory, and Ballinasloe’s Keela Donnelly Meehan earned Player of the Tournament.
At home base, Club under 13 Players Callum Conway, Adam Lloyd, Éanna Colleran, John Kelly, Fionn Duffy and Adam McLoughlin represented Galway at the Centre of Excellence, Dublin, playing three showcase games against Waterford, Dundalk/Drogheda and Kerry. Ballinasloe’s captain Aaron Treacy became the first county player to lift the prestigious Kennedy Cup after beating the Midlands League 2/1. Additionally, U12s Ty Finnerty, Nathan Blair and Aaron Mannion were selected on the Galway United Academy who defeated Finns Harps 2/1 in the Westport Invitational Tournament final.
A 5K Solidarity Walk was held for U13/14s player Luke Doherty who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma last year. A great turnout arrived at the AFC grounds to support Luke in the walk, raising €14,412 on the day -towards St. Teresa’s Ward at Portiuncula Hospital, Our Ladies Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie Charity Foundation, Cliona’s Foundation, while the last 20% was donated to the family by the club to treat Luke to a holiday.
Walk Organiser Johnny Walsh thanked the local community for their support, and the Doherty family for their cooperation in agreeing to the event.
The Annual General Meeting saw a new committee elected with Bjorn Manning as Chairperson, Vanessa Lloyd as Secretary, Johnny Walsh as Treasurer, Ellen Egan as Assistant Treasurer, Sonya Dowd as Youth Secretary, Simon Price as Child Protection Officer, Michael Burke as Groundsman, Brendan McNally as Assistant Groundsman, Johnny Walsh and Joeb Kelly as joint PROS, along with Committee members Demelza Egan, Michael Riddell, Joey Walsh, Noel Lyons, Mark Duffy, Shane Fallon, Séamus McCarthy, Sylvia ó Hara, Seamus McCarthy and Breda Cleary.
Outgoing Chairperson Joby Kelly thanked all committee members, coaches and mentors for their dedication to the club and addressed the past season of play and development of facilities. New Chairperson Bjorn Manning thanked the meeting for his election, and urged everyone to redouble efforts this season, while Secretary Vanessa Lloyd gave a comprehensive report of activity during the past season. Outgoing Treasurer Ellen Egan thanked all the Club Sponsors, paying particular tribute to the Shearwater Hotel and the Comer Group, echoed by all in attendance. Ellen stressed this would be a challenging financial year for the AFC, with Club Development Loan repayments and an additional top-up loan for the new Astro Turf.
The state of the art facility, incorporating new pitch surfaces, fencing, ball retention netting, and LED Floodlights, has been completed and now available to hire. The total cost of this development phase amounted to €154,000, with €128,000 covered through the Department of Sports Capital Programme. The club has also benefitted from several grants and donations via the Ballinasloe Credit Union and F.A.I. for regular development works.
The new Astro will officially be opened by former member Heather Payne in Auturmn. Currently the grounds are decorated with Irish flags and bunting wishing Heather the best of luck in competing in the Senior Ladies World Cup currently underway down under.
Those intending to book a slot on the pitches can contact Brendan McNally at (087) 793 6535.
CLICK HERE to read the Latest Ballinasloe News Articles