Presentation made by SFAI to Jim Warny who helped rescue Thai schoolboy football team

Members of the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland (SFAI), Clare Schoolboys Soccer League (CSSL) and the local community of Ennis gathered in the Temple Gate Hotel on Wednesday evening to honour and recognise the bravery and courage shown by Jim Warny.

The cave diving expert was part of a team of divers who helped rescue 12 Thai schoolboy footballers and their coach from Tham Luang caves in Northern Thailand earlier this month.

SFAI Jim Warny Presentation 25072018 2

Mr Warny played an integral role in the dangerous rescue, at one point carrying the coach of the team to safety, while his knowledge and expertise of diving were also crucial during the rescue operation.

Jim travelled to Thailand as a volunteer, and on Wednesday night he said he was humbled by the presentation, while he was quick to highlight the teamwork that was involved in the rescue.

Speaking in the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis, where he was joined by his Fiance Asia Mania, he said: “I’m truly honoured that the SFAI would even think of giving me an award such as this”.

He continued: “When I went out there I was out there as part of a team, and although cave diving is often a very individual thing, we all came together as a team to work together – there was a team of more than 1,000 people.

Pic Via: Cathal Mullane

“It was all teamwork and I think that is also what the SFAI is about. I appreciate what the SFAI do with young people, teaching them about football of course, but, more importantly, teaching them about important things like teamwork.”

As a volunteer travelling to Thailand, and with so many volunteers giving up their time every year within the SFAI and CSSL, SFAI Chairman John Earley said it was important to recognise his bravery and courage.

He said: “ I think it was very important that the SFAI as an association honoured Jim and that’s what we have done here tonight in conjunction with the CSSL and especially Tommy Molloy who has done a huge amount to help”.

SFAI Jim Warny Presentation 25072018 1

He continued: “Jim helped rescue a schoolboy football team and their coach, and as we all know the football family extends across the world and we felt it only right that he be recognised by the governing body of the schoolboy football in Ireland.

“We are an organisation of volunteers, everyone involved in schoolboy football is a volunteer and to see Jim give up his time to volunteer to travel to Thailand and help in the rescue was truly remarkable.”

Speaking about life since his return to Ireland, Jim said he had already been back diving and was slowly getting used to people recognising him on the street, while he noted an open invitation to return to Thailand at some point in the future.

SFAI Skechers National Cup 2018/19 entry now open

After a truly memorable 2017/18 season in the SFAI Skechers National Cups, we are delighted to announce the entry period for the 2018/19 season is now open.

We are delighted to confirm Skechers as our main sponsor for another season, and we thank them for their continued support of schoolboy football.

SFAI Skechers National Cup open small 1

This year’s entry system, created by SFAI technology partner, Sportlomo is fast and easy, with just a few clicks needed to complete your entry.

Last season saw national success for St Kevin’s Boys, Corinthian Boys and Leixlip United, while up to 40 teams claimed SFAI Skechers Regional Cup success.

The SFAI travelled the length of the country to promote games last season, and we will endeavour to do the same this time, promoting as many ties and rounds as we can.

To all those who competed last year, well done on your success, the national cups create memories many players take with them throughout their footballing life.

To enter the SFAI Skechers National Cups just click HERE

North Leinster ready for regional SFAI Skechers Cup Finals

It’s set to be a cracking weekend of football in North Leinster as the regional SFAI Skechers Cup Finals take place in Duleek and the MDL Grounds.

The SFAI Skechers Cup regional competition offers those teams lucky enough to reach the last 32 of the national competition the chance to go up against the top teams in their region.

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Saturday will see three ties played in Duleek, with the homeside competing in two – playing Donacarney Celtic in the U12 final and their U13’s facing Corduff.

Drogheda Town are also hoping to lift some silverware when they take on Bohemians in the U15 regional SFAI Skechers Cup Final.

Sunday will see the action continue in the MDL Grounds, and both games are sure to be worthy of the prize on offer.

Clonee United and Kells Blackwater do battle in the U14 clash, while Quay Celtic and Corduff play in the final tie of the weekend in the U16 competition.

Corduff will be hoping they are also celebrating twice, with their U13 and U16 teams making the final – both teams performed very well in the national competition and rightly take their place in the showpiece event.

The fixtures are as follows…

Saturday May 12th (Three games in Duleek)

U12 Duleek v Donacarney Celtic  10.00am
U13 Corduff v Duleek  11.45am
U15 Bohemians v Drogheda Town  1.30pm

Sunday May 13th (Two games In MDL Grounds, Navan)

U14 Clonee Utd v Kells Blackwater  10.00am
U16 Quay Celtic v Corduff  12.00pm

Subway Championship and Plate success for Mayo, DDSL, Athlone and Cavan/Monaghan

There were huge celebrations in Mullingar over the weekend as the finals of the U12 and U13 SFAI Subway Championship and Plate took place at the home of Mullingar Athletic.

On Saturday, the opening game saw Cavan/Monaghan and Longford battle it out for the U13 SFAI Subway Plate, and a superb performance from the CMUL youngsters saw them run out 2-1 winners.

U12 and U13 SFAI Subway Finals collage 1920052018

Senan Mullen’s free-kick was the talk of the sideline at the break – his wonderful strike sending the eventual winners in at the interval with a 1-0 lead.

CMUL goalkeeper Bonnie McKiernan was another who stood out, proving a very stern opponent for the likes of Longford’s Rasheed Yeboah and Paddy Moran who tested the young net-minder.

The second half was only a couple of minutes old when Cavan/Monaghan then doubled their tally – this time Adam Tierney was the one who forced the ball over line.

Longford did hit back when Josh Kelly finished excellently after a sweeping move, but the day belonged to CMUL.

Next up was the U12 SFAI Subway Plate Final which featured WWEC and Ahtlone, and it was the latter who emerged victorious, eventually winning 2-0.

Those watching on only had to wait a couple of minutes for the opening goal, Brandon Wykes converting after some lovely control in the box.

His first touch perfectly set the ball up for him to fire past Sean Meade, and Athlone held that advantage at half-time.

WWEC, to their credit, battled their way back into the game, with the likes of Evan Geary and Barry Walsh threatening.

However, a real chance at goal only came when Ty Corcoran headed narrowly over the crossbar.

Had the ball crept in perhaps the end result would have been different, but from there Athlone gathered momentum and eventually made it 2-0 when Thomas Farrell squeezed the ball in at the near post.

On Sunday it was the turn of the DDSL, Mayo and Cork in the U12 and U13 SFAI Subway Championship Finals, with DDSL and Mayo up first in the U12 contest.

And what a battle it was, with Mayo scoring two second half goals to clinch the prize.

It was an incredible game, with the DDSL taking the lead through Ryan Kelly when he put the ball over the line at the back post.

Anthony Dodd impressed immensely in the centre for the Dubliners, acting as the pivot for the team to turn defence into attack, but he could only watch on in the second half as Mayo fought back.

Gavin Forry, who picked up the Player of the Match Award, was instrumental in the comeback, while it was Eoin Elding who equalised with a cool finish after good work on the left.

POTM U12 and U13 Subway Finals 20052018

Forry then came to the fore, using his pace and power on the left to force an opening for Thomas Morley to score the all-important winner, sending the Mayo players and fans into huge celebrations.

Having watched that game from the sideline, the DDSL U13 team then faced Cork, and they came away 2-1 winners in a tie that sparked into life when Adam Murphy scored a brilliant header.

Jamie Murphy assisted with a whipped cross form the right, and he was a threat throughout, while Franco Umen tried his best on the flank for Cork.

After the break Murphy bagged his second, turning in the ball in after Kevin Zefi had raided down the right and sent in a teasing cross.

Cork hit back from the penalty spot shortly after that courtesy of Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh, and they pressed late on but another goal did not come as they lost out to their Dublin rivals for a second year.

Forth Celtic clinch regional U13 SFAI Skechers Cup with 2-1 win over Villa

It was celebration time in Wexford on Bank Holiday Monday when Forth Celtic recorded a famous 2-1 win over Villa in the south-east regional final of the SFAI Skechers National Cup.

Played in Curracloe, the finals saw five games take place over two separate days, and on Monday it was the turn of the U13s.

Forth Celtic U13s v Villa 07052018

Indeed, it only took Forth Celtic a matter of seconds to go in front when they scored through Jack McNamara.

Villa, not put off by the early setback, refocused and the likes of Conor Mullan and James Hegarty had to be alert for the eventual winners as they came under pressure.

However, shortly after the restart Villa did hit back, pouncing on a loose ball to draw the south-east regional U13 SFAI Skechers Cup Final level.

Dan McGrath had already shown his threat for Forth before he grabbed the winner, which came just 30 seconds from time.

A left-footed strike nestled in the bottom corner, sparking huge celebrations.

The celebrations continued after the final whistle too, with the travelling support giving the winning team the plaudits they deserved.

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