The Kennedy Cup returns to the University of Limerick this coming week, for another action-packed five-day festival of football, with players from all over Ireland representing their respective clubs at leagues. As ever, there are three Limerick representatives, with Limerick Desmond, Limerick County and Limerick District hoping for a successful number of days on home soil.
As ever, the competition starts with the group phase before splitting into the respective Cup, Bowl, Shield and Plate competitions. This season there are 30 Leagues participating, with the Dublin and District Schoolboy League opting out – following an alleged clash with the SFAI earlier this season. Therefore two groups have just three teams. The competition is for U14 sides.
The Limerick Desmond League are in Group One, where they will face Carlow on Monday, before a tie with Kilkenny on Tuesday. Their group campaign finishes with a meeting with WWEC (West Waterford East Cork). The boys from the west won the SFAI U14 Boys Inter League All Ireland Cup earlier this season, at the same venue, edging past Kerry. Niall O’Connor of Breska Rovers has overseen this group for the last two seasons with a healthy spread of clubs from west Limerick.
In Group Four, Limerick District will be hoping for a strong performance when they open-up against NECSL (North Eastern Counties), while they will battle with West Cork and later Waterford on a busy Tuesday. Former Limerick and Wexford manager Noel O’Connor is at the helm, as Aisling Annacotty and Fairview Rangers provide a combined nine players. They also have a number of other clubs from the city and urban areas.
Limerick County were drawn in Group Eight, with two games on Tuesday. First up is South Tipperary, before an evening tie with Midlands. Knockainey’s Noel Corbett guides them with the side filled with talent from across the south and east of Limerick. Limerick County were beaten 2-1 (AET) in the Kennedy Cup Bowl last season, in what was a still fantastic achievement for the smallest of the Limerick leagues.
Limerick District won the Kennedy Cup in 2000, while the only other Shannonside success was in 1980. The competition has been dominated by Dublin Leagues but Cork were 2022 winners, defeating Waterford, 2-0.
The Kennedy Cup has seen some superb footballers pass through its ranks down the years. John O’Shea, Roy Keane, Damien Duff and more recently Evan Ferguson have all represented their leagues, while more locally, future sports stars in various codes played at the competition. Shane Dowling, Seamus Flanagan, Craig Casey, Anthony Forde and Paudie O’Connor played with the different Limerick Leagues before having great successes in their chosen sport at adult level.
All of the games take place on the UL grass and Maguires pitches – those situated near the Arena and running track. All spectators are advised to travel early, with parking often at a premium due to the volume of spectators attending.
Fixtures are available HERE.
Limerick Desmond Schoolboy League Squad 2023/23
Limerick Desmond Schoolboy League Squad: Zach Bennis (Dromore United), Sheagh Mulvihill (GB Rovers), Cian Barry (Dromore United) John Ross O’Reilly (Breska Rovers), Aaron Murphy (Abbeyfeale United), Rowan Collins (Shountrade AFC), Brooklyn Delahunty (Dromore United), Eoin Hennessy (Breska Rovers), Thomas McMahon (Dromore United), Mikolaj Pater (Newcastle West Town), Eamon O’Sullivan (Shountrade AFC), Charlie McCarthy (Shountrade AFC), Ben Hough (Creeves Celtic), Ryan Foley (Breska Rovers), Seán O’Flynn (Broadford United), Michael Kirby (Shountrade AFC), Matthew Walshe (Newcastle West Town), Tiarnan Kelly (Newcastle West Town), Dylan Buckley (GB Rovers), Andrew Johnson (Shountrade AFC)
Limerick Desmond Schoolboy League Management Team: Niall O’Connor (Manager), Tommy O’Connor (Assistant Manager), Kevin Taylor (Coach) Jason Quinn (GK Coach), Alan Loftus (Physio).
Limerick County Schoolboy League Squad 2023/23
Limerick County Schoolboy League Squad: Paddy O’Dwyer (Herbertstown), Gavin O’Brien (Kilmallock), Byran Nagy (Charleville),Ronan Collins (Kilmallock), Donagh Horgan (Murroe), Joshua Wormald (Kilmallock). Kevin Kearns (Holycross), Jamie O’Toole (Charleville), Ben Corbett (Knockainey), John O’Riordan (Holycross), Ronan Connelly (Holycross), Sam Mitchell (Knockainey), Shay McCarthy (Kilmallock), Eoin O’Connell (Cullen), Conor Reardan (Holycross) Conor O’Mahony (Croom), William Ryan (Murroe), Dan Barry (Holycross), Calum Compton (Galbally), Rian Horgan (Murroe).
Limerick County Schoolboy League Management Team: Noel Corbett (Head Coach), Adam Reardan (Coach), Peter Kearns (Coach), Cathal Kearns (Coach), John Connelly (Coach) Andrew Wormald (GK Coach), PJ Mahony (Physio).
Limerick District Schoolboy League Squad 2023/23
Limerick District Schoolboy League Squad: Jake Carmody (Fairview Rangers), Jack O’Donoghue, (Aisling Annacotty), Ken Griffin (Aisling Annacotty), Brian Moroney (Lisnagry), Cian Robertson (Regional United) Ruaidhri Mitchell (Corbally United), Dylan Kett (Fairview Rangers) Michael Carey (Mungret Regional), Michael Omojoefodun (Regional United), Mduduzi Ncube (Limerick FC), Bryan Mambouana (Pike Rovers), Aaron McNamara (Fairview Rangers), Ruairi Bulman (Fairview Rangers), Adi O’Meara (Aisling Annacotty) Uchenna Obi Kabi (Aisling Annacotty), Darragh Kirwan (Caherdavin Celtic), Daithi Mullins (Regional United), Nathan Robinson(Regional United), Shane Moloughney (Lisnagry), Colin McNamara (Caherdavin Celtic).
Limerick District Schoolboy League Management Team: Noel O’Connor (Manager). Aidan Ryan (Assistant Manager), JJ Hartigan (GK Coach), Sean Heagney (Coach), Barry Heffernan (Physio).