Every year, one of the highlights of the clubs year is the Under-13 club trip to the UK. This year was an unforgettable trip for 19 players and some of their parents who had an action packed itinerary.
The 3 day trip included full Stadium Tour of Old Trafford, a training session with the Stoke City Academy coaches, attendance at Stoke V Hull premier league match and most importantly an ‘international’ friendly against a local Under-13 schoolboy side.
The trip is organised by a committee consisting of coaches and parents from the Under-13 squad who had various fund-raising events during the year to offset the cost.
The club would like to thank all those involved in organising this for the players as it was an experience that the boys will remember for the rest of their lives.
Special word of thanks to team coach John Lynch for his work and the write-up below :-
An early start on Good Friday morning at 3.30am when the travelling squad of players and parents met the bus at the community hall in Carrigtwohill. All loaded, we left for Dublin Port, the players taking the back of the bus and the adults banished to the front seats.
Any hope of sleep for the adults was gone by the time we reached Watergrasshill as the craic was mighty amongst the lads.
At Dublin port, we left our Cork bus and met our driver Jimmy for the trip to Manchester and then settled down on board the ferry for the crossing.
The sea journey was fine and calm with nobody getting sick! The lads were well fed by the time we reached Holyhead.
Once in Wales, we set off for Manchester and to the Trafford shopping centre where the Pull and Bear shop was emptied of hoodies by the lads, The blood pressure of the parents went sky high.
From there we headed to Old Trafford for the stadium tour. The lads were amazed by the stadium including Liverpool fan George.
Once this was complete we headed to the hotel which was perfect for us. There were other teams in the hotel so it was thronged with kids, coaches and parents.
Grub was had and the lads headed off around the hotel having more craic. A long day down we headed for bed.
Saturday saw an early start for breakfast and a bus journey to Stoke. We stopped at the Stoke City FC shop on the way and duly bought every Stoke Jersey on sale. We then went to the Stoke academy and trained for an hour with the Stoke coaches.
The Carrigtwohill coaches, John and Adrian were duly told that they were suddenly surplus to requirement !
Once training was complete we headed into the ground for the Stoke V Hull premier league match. It was a good game which started with our lads welcoming the teams into the pitch as part of the flag waving teams. The lads took their places in the stand and gradually got into the atmosphere. The Hull fans alongside us were duly put to the sword by the Carrigtwohill lads. One unnamed player duly removed his top during the celebrations for the third Stoke goal much to the hysterics of the parents. At the end of the game the lads met some of the players at pitch side for photos and autographs.
Once back in the bus we headed for the hotel and swimming followed by dinner. One of the Leamlara parents managed 3 dinners on the Saturday night in the all you can eat buffet. All of the lads watched Match of the day and gave their own expert analysis now that they were all experts.
Sunday morning saw us leave the hotel and head for Liverpool for a game against Halewood who are a local Under-13 soccer team. This was a good hard game which we lost 2-4. The lads did their country proud! Once presentations from both clubs were made and Will Xaji took the man of the match prize we headed for Holyhead again. The Ferry journey to Dublin saw the lads watch the Man Utd v Chelsea game while devouring the 20 large pizzas paid for by the club. The journey to Cork was a much quieter affair as the trip was starting to take its toll.
Overall the trip was excellent. The lads really enjoyed it.
Thanks to the players themselves who were very well behaved and who made the trip the great laugh it was. The parents and club are very proud of how such great ambassadors they were – Well done lads !