The 14th edition of the Galway Cup was an outstanding success once again at the home of Salthill Devon at Drom. Collaboration and partnership brought the tournament to life and it’s a privilege to be part of it, writes Pete Kelly.
Over the course of four days there were 120 games player by 50 teams, scoring 351 goals – not counting plenty of penalty shoot outs to boot.
The cream of district league talent for players born in at 2003/05/06 played a great brand of football throughout. Added into the mix was the ‘Super Elite 2003’ section where the academies of Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire, Leeds United, Shrewsbury Town, NDSL had to give best to the Sligo Leitrim league.
This section featured some great games and in Michael Clifford produced the ‘Player of the Tournament’. It has to be said that the North Westerner’s success was due in no small measure to their coach Alan Farry – it was clearly plain to see that these boys were superbly organised, while playing with flair and a smile on their faces.
All the results day by day, are available here.
As someone who is very involved in the tournament I know just how important the sense of team is and the importance of good sponsorship and publicity.
Tournament director Ronan Gibney does an incredible job in a quiet, thoroughly professional manner. Ronan grew up in Salthill Devon as a player, he works in the architectural world and perhaps it’s that attention to detail that ensures Galway Cup success.
He conducts the Galway Cup orchestra with a minimum of fuss and leverages the collective talents of the other core members including Conor Byrne, Declan Farrell, Pat Lawless and Tony Mannion to deliver the pristine grounds and sponsoring partners.
You never know who will turn up at the Galway Cup and Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny was on the sideline, but this time as a parent and supporter. He took time out to talk to us and showed just how much a grasp he has of what it takes to run and event and what’s important to players – which after all is what it is all about.
It is tournaments like the Galway Cup where conveyor belt of talent needed by the League of Ireland and beyond gets its first outing. Brendan Grahamof Extratime.ie and ‘other parishes’ was onsite all week to bring his take on events viewed with a League of Ireland slant in mind while Steve Alfredwas snapping away capturing images as he only he can.
Additionally, the Galway cup is partnered with Avenir Sports, Ireland’s leading Performance Analysis and Solutions experts. They are now co-located on the Salthill Devon campus and offered match footage, analysis and GPS tracker facilities throughout the week, while also filming and editing for the Galway Cup TV all week.
If you have not been to the Galway Cup put it in your diary for next year. Salthill Devonwill have added the a fifth pitch by then – a latest generation all weather international standard pitch to add to already impressive sports campus that is Drom.