AWARDS NIGHT CAPS OFF A VERY MEMORABLE SEASON
Attached are some memorable snap shots celebrating the best of talent and people in Athenry FC at our annual Award Ceremony held in the Raheen Woods Hotel last evening.
We extend a heartfelt thank you to all the players, parents and coaches who joined us and to all the parents and businesses that generously sponsored spot prizes.
Together, we honored the remarkable accomplishments of our members with a very impressive 12 trophies on display including the Mens Junior Connacht Cup, U16 Girls Connacht Cup, U16 Girls League Cup, U16 Girls GFA Cup, U14 Girls Div 1 Cup, Ladies League Cup, U19 girls League Cup & U19 Girls GFA Cup along with the U9 and U16 boys Shield and U11 Cup from the Kells tournament last August and the Barcelona B Cup won by our u12 boys in April.
We also had a very special award presented to honour the late great Conor T. McNamara. For those that didn't know Conor he had a smile that would light up the room. He was also a huge supporter of our Junior team over the years. His company was enjoyed by all and is missed throughly. Last night his sister Aileen Nolan presented the Conor T McNamara Memorial Cup to Tony on behalf of the Athenry Town Team who knew Conor from the beginning of the formation of the town team. We would like thank all the extended McNamara Family for their presence last evening remembering Conor.
[🏆] We had two very special coaches that deserved recognition this year. The first award for Coach of the year 2023- Developmental Excellence went to Noel Coffey and Coach of the Year 2023 - High Performance went to Mike Noone.
[🏆] Athenry FC Club Person of the year 2023 was awarded to the most deserving of all winners Brian Sweeney.
Special thanks to guest speakers Head of Coaching Stephen Lally and Junior A Manager Seamie Crowe and to the man on the decks for his expertise with the sound system Sean Barrett.
The following are the list of awards presented.
U12A Girls Managers POTY Mia Greaney.
U12A Girls Most Improved POTY Aoibhinn Kelly.
U12B Girls Managers POTY Caoimhe Geary
U12B Girls Most Improved POTY Michaela Molloy.
U12A Boys Managers POTY Odhrán Keaveney Burke.
U12A Boys Players POTY Diarmuid Fitzgerald.
12B Boys Players POTY Padraic Fahy Rabbite.
U12B Boys Most Improved POTY David Momah.
U12C Boys Players POTY Tom Crawley.
U12C Most Improved POTY Filip Wolinan.
U12D Boys Players POTY Alex Egan.
U12D Most Improved POTY Scot McVicker.
U12 Boys Representing County & Club.
Evan Hoarty &
U13 Girls Managers POTY Nicole Mitchell.
U13 Girls Most Improved POTY Sophie Murray.
U13A Boys Managers POTY Darren Quirke.
U13A Boys Players POTY Shane Tomas.
U13B Managers POTY Noah Trotter.
U13B Players POTY Oisin Potter.
U13C Boys Player OTY Ryan Belton
U13C Most Improved POTY Harry Dalton.
U13 Boys Representing County and Club
Shane Tomas &
U14A Girls Managers POTY Isobel Nyhan.
U14A Girls Players POTY Aoibhin Hannon
U14B Girls Managers POTY Charlotte Mangan.
U14B Girls Players POTY Brynn Feeney.
U14 Girls Representing County & Club Jenni Mc Namara.
U14A Boys Managers POTY Jack Hession.
U14A Boys Players POTY Anthony Poniard.
U14B Boys Players POTY Joshua Doggett.
U14B Boys Most Improved POTY Ben Walsh.
U14 Boys Representing County and Club
Rian Donoghue &
U14 Boys Representing League of Ireland & Club
Cillian Smyth, Alan Duffy, Jonah Walker and Devon Crawford.
U15 Girls Managers POTY Kate Kennedy.
U15 Girls Most Improved POTY Sinead O Mahony.
U15 Girls Representing Club & County
Kate Kennedy &
U15A Boys Managers POTY Daniel Tuohy.
U15A Boys Players POTY Stephen Martin.
U15B Boys Managers POTY Cillian Kelly
U15B Boys Players POTY Danny Petrus.
U16 Girls Managers POTY Tarron Kilkenny
U16 Girls Players POTY Mollie Gilligan.
U16A Boys Managers POTY Mehdi Moulaoui.
U16A Boys Players POTY Pierce Mangan.
U16B Boys Managers POTY Harry Conway.
U16B Boys Most Improved POTY Aidan Kelly.
U16 Boys Representing County & Club Mehdi Moulaoui.
U17 Girls Managers POTY Rhiannon Gorton
U17 Girls Players POTY Vici Lundstrom.
U17A Boys Players POTY Matthew Collins
U17A Boys Most Improved POTY Aaron Daly.
U18 A Boys Players POTY Callum Redmond.
U18A Most Improved POTY Adam Casey.
U18B Managers POTY Bartek Woleniuk.
U18B Boys Most Improved POTY Michael Fahy.
U19 Ladies Managers POTY Ruby Mullen.
U19 Ladies Players POTY Aoibhe Murray.
U19 Ladies Representing County & Club
Ruby Mullen &
U19 Ladies Representing League Of Ireland and Club 2022/2023 Ciara Cunney.
U21 Men Players POTY Jack Dillane
U21 Men Most Improved POTY Andrew Cronnolly.
Ladies Junior Managers POTY Ruth Tansey.
Ladies Junior Players POTY Leah Crotty.
Junior B Men Player OTY Alex Park
Junior B Men Most Improved POTY Jack Maguire.
Junior A Men Managers POTY Sean O Callaghan
Junior A Men Players POTY Gary O'Connell
Junior A Mens Representing Province & Club
Colm O Donovan &
Its a huge credit to all our coaches who keep these players involved in the game. Massive thank you to each and everyone of you for the untold work you do.
We had a very successful season in terms of trophies but equally important in participation so thank you to everyone who played their part. We hope everyone enjoyed the evening. Until next season enjoy your summer.
COOL HEAD COLM WINS IT ON PENALTIES
Connacht Junior Cup Final- Castlebar Celtic 0 - Athenry 0
Athenry win 5-4 on penalties.
The biggest trophy in Connacht football is back in Athenry after yesterday's penalty shootout victory over Castlebar Celtic in a sun drenched Castlebar. Celtic started stronger and were well on top for the first half. A busy Athenry back 4 dealt with it well and keeper TJ Forde wasn't really tested. 2nd half was a different story as the shortened warm up on such a hot day seemed to start to pay dividends as the Castlebar lads began to tire slightly. While dominating possession Athenry could only muster up half chances and the deadlock would not be broken.
All the drama came in the penalty shootout as both teams scored their first 2 with Shane Keogh and Cole Connolly expertly slotting home for Athenry. Then came the decisive moment as TJ Forde sprung to his left to make a super save to give Athenry the advantage. Up next was Dan Cunningham to drive home that advantage with his customary hop skip and jump and calmly roll the ball into the net after sending the keeper to the shops. We were now 2 penalties from victory. A time for cool heads. Up stepped Simon Dziedzina and the big man from Poland made no mistake. So now it was Colm O Donovan with a penalty to win the Connacht Cup for Athenry. Colm likes the occasional little moan but he doesn't do pressure and there was no one you would rather be taking such a pressure kick. He gave the keeper no chance and the celebrations began.
Connacht FA MOTM Sean O' Callaghan.
A big thank you to Gerry Tully and the Connacht Football Association for the way everything ran so smoothly and to the Mayo FA and ground staff in Solar Park for having the pitch in unbelievable condition.
ATHENRY LOSE OUT IN FINAL
U16 Girls Irish Cup final - Athenry 0-2 Waterford Bohemians
It wasn’t to be for our fantastic U16 girls yesterday as we just came up short against an excellent Waterford Bohs side. A brilliant adventure that saw us play top sides from all over the country ended with the girls being the first juvenile team in the clubs history to reach an Irish Cup Final.
Bohs started well, took an early lead, and were the better team for the first half. However these Athenry girls never give up and kept battling away. The second half saw a much improved performance from Athenry and we dominated for long periods. Kerri O Driscoll came close with a header and Mollie Noone had a goal disallowed for offside. It was tough to see her 2 yards onside in the footage after the game but the luck just wasn’t with us on this occasion. Bohs sealed the victory with the last kick of the game and are worthy champions. It’s been a great season for our girls, winning the League and Connaught Cup, and the GFA league cup to look forward to on Thursday evening.
Special thanks to Noel Connolly EDP, Tom Trill and Geraldine Treacy of the Galway FA for fitting this game in. We know the pressure they're under to accommodate so many cup games in the end of the season and we are incredibly grateful. To all the Athenry supporters who travelled a massive thank you too.
Wishing the management team Mike, Gerry, Jamie and Brian and the girls the best of luck on Thursday in the League Cup on their final game of season.
MAKESHIFT COSTELLO SOLID IN GOAL
BU12 Blue League
Athenry FC 1-0 Cregmore / Claregalway FC
Athenry welcomed Cregmore to our new Astro on Tuesday evening, ,for the second time in 10 days and this time it was a league encounter.
On a beautiful sunny evening, it was Athenry who started the brighter with James Byrne causing all sorts of problems for a stubborn cregmore defence. Athenry continued to press with strong midfield work from Evan Hoarty and Oisin Burke who both worked tirelessly throughout. Cregmore grew into the game midway through the first half, but with outlet balls goin to either wing , Athenry used the blistering pace of Odhràn Keaveney and Leo Crawford to create chance after chance. The first half ended nil nil with Cregmore coming close on a few occasions.
Athenry started the second half with Evan Hoarty pushed up to a left sided attacking role, and it paid dividends. With 15 mins to go, he danced around two Cregmore defenders to calmly slot the ball into the corner from an impossible angle. Athenry came under pressure straight after the goal but with a fantastic makeshift appearance in goals from Oran Costello and the dynamic defence of Diarmuid Fitzgerald, Oisin Shaw, Matteo Carminatti and the brilliant Eoin Sinnott, they drove every attack back.
Athenry brought in Tom Corbett and Tom Brady to solidify the centre and both did their job impeccably. With 2 mins left on the clock, Oisin Shaw got up to support play and when the ball broke to him just outside the box, he caught the ball sweetly on the half volley only to see it fly just inches over the crossbar. Athenry brought on the battling duo of Cillian Walsh and Oisin Carroll to add some bite towards the end and held out for a deserving victory. Well done lads!
LADS DIG DEEP TO WIN
U14 Boys Premier/Championship Cup
Tuam Celtic 1 - 2 Athenry (x1 Rian, x1 Oran)
A trip to Tuam for the U14 Boys this evening, this time for a League Cup encounter with Tuam Celtic. Athenry started very lively and within 10 mins where ahead. Keelan McDermott finding himself in space at the edge of the box, brilliantly picked out Rian Donoghue, who slotted it neatly into the bottom left corner.
But this kicked Tuam into gear and from that point on, Athenry found themselves in a tough, physical battle and were pinned back in their own half for much of the next 25 minutes. But Athenry held on until half time 1 - 0.
The 2nd half started much better for Athenry, retaining possession and using the width of the pitch. Having just come on, Oran Greaney then latched on to a fine through ball from Rian and finished cooly into the far corner. 2-0. But yet again, Tuam responded well, winning a penalty minutes later, however, were unable to convert. Tuam continued to push hard and deservedly pulled a goal back, with 10 minutes remaining. 2 - 1.
The Athenry boys, with renewed energy from subs Caelan Burke Keaveney and Anthony Poniard, dug deep to see out the game, which they did to secure a place in the next round. Well done both teams.
ATHENRY U12 B ON TOUR
Congratulations to our U12 B-team who represented the club at the Barcelona Football tournament last weekend in Cambrils, Salou. During the 2 days festival of football the boys got to play 6 games against Irish, French, Swiss and Northern Irish teams. They had 4 tough games on day 1 in high temperatures but did really well to qualify for the 4th tier section finals on day 2.
On day 2, after a very tough semi final Athenry were faced with a 3rd place playoff match. In this match all 11 squad players played with real passion and worked extremely hard for each other. After an energy sapping 30 minutes and with the scores locked at 1-1, it had to be decided with a penalty shootout. Unfortunately, It didn't go our way but both teams were very sportsmanlike at the end which is all we can ask for as coaches.
If that drama wasnt enough for the boys, the best was yet to come.
The boys rushed over to watch the Athenry U12A team who had qualified for the 2nd tier final. We couldn't ask for a better way to finish the weekend. Athenry trailing 1-0 ended up scoring 2 late goals, 1 in injury time, to send all kids and supporters into wild celebrations. Both Athenry teams and supporters hugged and cheered each other as they realised something really special was just achieved.
As a group we win and lose together and they all walked away as winners with their tournament medals as the Irish crowd from all other clubs sang the fields of Athenry.
A big thank you to all the coaches and parents who made this a trip of a lifetime. We are so proud of the boys as they represented themselves and the club with class.
Aleks Lukaszewski [⚽] [⚽] [⚽]
Ruairi McNena [⚽] [⚽]
Killian Coffey [⚽]
Cillian Walsh [⚽] [⚽] [⚽] [⚽] [⚽]
U12'S WIN BARCELONA B FINAL
Huge congrats to our Boys U12's who won The Barcelona Cup b final on Sunday evening following two amazing days at this superb international festival of football in Salou. The boys played 5 matches, winning 4 and losing only once.
Athenry 2-0 AS Artix
Evan Hoarty [⚽️] [⚽️]
Athenry 3-0 Shankill FC
James Byrne [⚽️] [⚽️] [⚽️]
Athenry 0-2 CEF Bosc de Tosca
Athenry 2-1 AS Merignac Bleu
James Byrne [⚽️]
Matteo Carminati [⚽️]
Athenry 2-1 AS Merignac Rouge
Evan Hoarty [⚽️] (pen)
James Byrne [⚽️]
The final, against French club SA Merignac, will live long in the memory of all who witnessed it. It was a hugely physical and bruising encounter with the French playing very close to the edge throughout the game. The French took the lead midway through the first half and from then on tried to slow the game down to the extent that 6 mins injury time was played at the end of the match. The Athenry boys toiled for much of this game with tired bodies all over the pitch following the previous four matches in the warm weather, and the game looked to be slipping away from us.
Then, somehow, they found a way. Odhrán Keaveney was fouled in the box with 2 minutes to go which resulted in an Athenry penalty and a red card for Merignac.
At this point the match was being played in a frenzy however Evan Hoarty kept a cool head with chaos all around him, scored from the spot to equalise and set us up for a grandstand finish with the 6 minutes of the injury time to come. Athenry were emboldened by the equaliser and now saw their chance. With a minute to go James Byrne danced by two defenders, rounded the keeper and slotted home to send the Athenry supporters into raptures. Final whistle - game over and elation for Athenry.
We are hugely proud of the way these boys conducted themselves this weekend on and off the pitch - they have created friends and memories for a lifetime.
Well done boys!
James Burke (GK)
TEAMWORK SHOWS THE WAY AS ATHENRY SHOCK FRONT RUNNERS
U17 Boys Premier Athenry 4 - 2 Knocknacarra
Our U17 Premier Team had the uphill challenge of facing the league leaders and de facto league winners, Knocknacarra FC. Coming from a series of losses to face the league leaders on Easter Sunday morning was never going to be easy.
A depleted squad presented itself, following a number of tactical changes to the players positioning, each were given a task, alone this would not be significant but as a team this was the agreed strategy, ‘stick to your task’. A relaxed Athenry side started well, but after 10 minutes Knocknacarra FC showed how clinical they can be, with an exceptional shot from an exceptional player the ball found its way into the Athenry net.
One can tell a lot from the way the ball makes it way back to centre circle and the story unfolded from there. An equaliser made it 1-1 and a message was sent to our opponents. This was followed by a dubious penalty award and 1-2 to the travelling team. Games are won in seconds and Athenry leadership stepped up to the mark and led by example, you could feel the tide change and belief grew in this excellent team. 1-2 at half time.
Second half started with Athenry staying tight on their opponents and not allowing Knocknacarra to play their game. Confidence grew another equaliser 2-2, some exceptional personal performances, 3-2 and finally 4-2.
Knocknacarra were not without chances and deadly on the break, hitting the ‘woodwork’ twice and placing the defence under significant pressure, with at least three goal line clearances, the defence commented afterwards ‘we had as many saves at the keeper’, but the Athenry defence was not breached in this half!
It was a positive performance, but not one without lessons to be learnt, stray passes, kicking away under pressure, and over playing gave the opponents more opportunities than they should have.
But this report is devoid of players names as this was a team effort, and if any lesson is to be learned success can only be achieved through teamwork. An entertaining and enjoyable game which places us in a positive mind frame for our final league match and the commencement of our Cup campaign.
Congrats to the management and coaching staff, who are there week in week out, and a big thank you to our opponents Knocknacarra FC who represented their club positively. Goalscorers x2 Adam Lavelle, Matthew Collins, Norbert Gaiderovas
Man of the Match : Athenry U17 Team
HOGAN'S FINAL FINISH CAPS OFF ANOTHER COMEBACK
U16 Girls SFAI last 32 - 29th January 2023
Athenry 5 -2 Aisling Annacotty (after extra time)
For the second week running the u16 girls were involved in a heart stopping Irish cup game. Aisling Annacotty from Limerick arrived with a reputation for playing good passing football and this certainly was the case. Playing with the strong elements in the first half the Limerick girls passed the ball well and had us under pressure in the early stages. Mollie Gilligan was very assured in goals and Tarron Kilkenny immense at centre back, Athenry were soaking the pressure up well. Athenry also looked dangerous on the break with Ella Farrelly causing trouble on the wing and Kerri O'Driscoll showing why she is one of the top talents in the Galway league. On 30 minutes Aisling Annacotty took the lead when a half cleared corner fell to Rachel Widger who found the top corner from all of 25 yards.
Athenry didn’t just lie down though and responded by putting the Limerick girls under constant pressure for the remainder of the half and when Sophie Costello smashed the ball to the net from the edge of the box in the final minute of the half the sides went in level.
Athenry were on top for most of the second half but couldn’t find a way past Afton Purtill in the Annacotty goals. She showed unbelievable bravery when diving at the feet of inrushing Athenry girls on 4 separate occasions. The closest Athenry came to scoring was when Kerri O'Driscolls brilliantly struck free kick came crashing back off the crossbar so extra time for the second week in a row.
Just like last week Athenry were out of the blocks fast and Ella Farrelly fired them into the lead with a superb left foot strike. Athenry kept the pressure on and just before half time Clodagh Crowley struck a beauty to the roof of the net for a 3-1 lead. A lovely individual goal from O'Driscoll made it 4-1. Annacotty danger girl Jayne Ryan showed her quality to make it 4-2 late on but there was still time for Sophie Hogan to snatch a late one to leave it 5-2 at the final whistle. The score line is harsh on the Limerick girls who played their part in a very entertaining cup match.
ATHENRY WIN IN TIGHT AFFAIR
U14 Boys Connacht Cup (sat 29th Oct 2022)
Athenry 3 Melview (Longford) 2
Scorers: Cillian Smyth, Colm McCarthy, Jack Hession.
A windy and wet afternoon made it a difficult day for high quality football. Athenry took the lead with a goal from Cillian Smyth who beat the keeper from the edge of the box. Melview equalised through an attack down the left, shooting from out on the wing. At that point Athenry began to dominate possession and won a penalty after an excellent passage of play. The Melview keeper saved the penalty only for Colm McCarthy to score from the follow up to make it 2-1. In the second half, Jack Hession deflected an Eoghan Somers shot to give Athenry a 3-1 lead. Athenry continued to pressure the Melview goal, but the Melview keeper was in excellent form and kept the game competitive. In the closing minute's Melview snatched a second to make it a tense close to the game.
ODHRAN CAPS MIGHTY PERFORMANCE WITH GOALS
U12 Boys Connacht Cup Round 2
Oranmore Brown 1 - 5 Athenry FC
Another fine performance from our under 12 boy's blue team today, progressing to round 3 of the Connacht Cup at the expense of Oranmore Brown. Captain James Byrne opened the scoring on 2 minutes with an opportunistic finish after a strike from Ethan Molloy was parried by the Oranmore ‘keeper. Then Odhran Keaveney Burke took over, first racing through from right wing and finishing with aplomb on the angle, then scoring a fine free kick into the top corner.
Ethan Molloy scored himself soon after with a calm finish following a great long-range strike from Evan Hoarty which was parried again by the impressive Oranmore keeper, who went on to make a string of fine saves to deny Athenry adding to their tally. 4-0 at half time. Oisin Burke completed the scoring in the second half with a fine strike from the edge of the box, after some excellent build up play from Leo Crawford and Matteo Carminati. Oranmore scored a late consolation to deny the clean sheet.
Player of the match - Odhran Keaveney Burke, who was a constant threat all game.
Well done to all the squad today.
MAGIC MIA HAT TRICK (Sun 23rd Oct 2022)
Athenry FC 3-2 Ballymote Celtic (AET)
x3 Mia Greaney
Having won a 1st round away in Sligo in September, Athenry U12 girls hosted another Sligo side in the 2nd round of the Connacht Cup on Sunday. Ballymote had dispatched Kiltullagh in the first round and the match was a very close one throughout.
The first half saw plenty of chances at both ends as great work in defence by Muireann Garvey, Liosa Griallais, Róna Brett and Shauna Costello cut out many of the Ballymote attacks with Aimee Farrell making some excellent saves to keep things level.
Athenry took the lead after 24 minutes as Mia Greaney ran onto a through ball from Rose Carroll and finished well. Shortly after the tip off that followed Liosa cleared the ball from the centre of defence finding Mia again on the right wing. She ran into the box to double the lead.
In the second half Ballymote's attack finally saw some deserved reward as they scored after 14 and 22 minutes to bring the game to extra time.
In extra time Aoibhinn Kelly in goals cleared any Ballymote attacks before they became a problem as she anticipated well and came out of her box to make multiple clearances. Approaching halftime in extra time Mia pounced on a short kickout and held off two defenders to finish past the advancing 'keeper for what proved to be the winner.
POTM: Mia Greaney
KELLY KEEPS THEM OUT AS PETRUS SCORES THE WINNER
U15 Boys Division 2 (Sat 22nd Oct 2022)
Athenry 1 Cregmore/Claregalway 0
Athenry U15B welcomed Cregmore/Claregalway to a very wet and windy Raheen this Afternoon. Cregmore started the brighter and created the better chances in the early exchanges, but excellent defending by the Athenry back 4 and some excellent saves by goalkeeper Cillian Kelly ensured the game remained goalless until halftime.
Athenry regrouped at half time and came out in the second half much the better team. Some neat build up play between Danny Joyce and Danny Petrus midway through the half saw Danny Petrus smash a stunning 25 yard strike to the roof of the net to score the only goal of the game. A tough battle ensued for the remainder of the half with both teams giving their all, in poor conditions, but a really solid defensive display ensured Athenry retained their lead until the end and gain a much-deserved victory.
Goal : Danny Petrus
MOTM: Ethan Burke
FIRST HALF JENNA HAT TRICK BRINGS U13'S BACK FROM THE BRINK
Athenry 6-3 Knocknacarra B (sunday 11th sept 2022)
A wet start to our first league game to kick off the season. Knocknacarra started well, going 2 goals up. Turned out the Athenry girls were just getting settled in for a goal fest. Athenry's first goal came from Jenna Brady with great play from the defence to thread the ball through. Jenna was there again to level it to 2-2. The Athenry defence of Lauren, Alicja, Sofija and Meabh were busy at times stalling the Knocknarra attacks. Knocknarra strikers were caught offside on a couple of occasions from a great defensive and focused back line. Brynn made some fantastic saves from the tricky Knockanarra #7 and diving on the ball during some goalmouth scrambles. Jenna finished off her hat-trick just before the half time whistle. This came from some great passing Aebha and Erin driving forward and forcing Knockncarra on the back foot with Aisling providing a great pass to Jenna to finish off her hat-trick!
The start of the second half brought two changes to the home team with the introduction of Sophie Murray and Venice Silke. The 4th goal came from a goalmouth scramble in the Knockncarra box before the alert Dearbhla hammered it home. Not long after Dearbhla's goal Aisling Higgins was fed a great ball from Ciara Bonner, following some great link up play by Erin Finnerty. Aisling made no mistake and placed the ball in the net. The introduction of Ciara Caulfield brought some fresh legs and also like Venice, her first game with the team, both players kept the momentum going. Venice made some important tackles to stop attacks from the Knocknacarra forwards.
Knocknacarra pulled a third goal back but Athenry looked very good for the win at this late stage. The last Athenry attack came from Aebha who made a great solo run toward goal with her shot just bouncing wide of the far post. The referees final whistle brought sheer excitement to the Athenry team and pure soaked with joy. These girls could not have made a better start or performance of getting their first winning game of the season off to a flying start. The coaching staff of Steve, Mark & Carol were pure proud of an excellent performance by all players today.