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This coming weekend will see three of our Academy sides in action in big games at the business end of the season. All three games are fixed for 2pm on Sunday with both the RSC and WIT Arena hosting games.

Under-13 Cup – Waterford v Kerry League, 2pm (WIT Arena)

Under-17 Shield Round 1 – Waterford v Kerry League, 2pm (RSC – Back Pitches)

Under-19 League Quarter Final – Waterford v Dundalk, 2pm (RSC – Main Pitch)


UNDER-13: After last weekend’s long trip to Donegal, our Under-13s will be looking forward to home comforts when they host Kerry in the first game of the Under-13 cup. The lads were unlucky in their shield semi final last week as Finn Harps ran out 2-0 winners but there was a lot of positives to take from the game both on and off the pitch as this group experienced the ins and outs of travelling away overnight as a team.

Mike Geoghegan and his staff have been doing some excellent work on the training ground with the boys and are looking forward to welcoming Kerry to the WIT Arena on Sunday. Both sides have met twice already this season with them sharing a win each, Waterford FC the victors when Kerry last visited WIT Arena. However as much as we aim to try and win our games, Under-13 football is also about development and this has been at the forefront of everything we have done with the side this year.

UNDER-17: It is Kerry two weeks on the bounce for our Under-17 side following last weekends 1-1 draw in Mounthahawk Park. After finishing outside the top 4, our 17s will now compete in the shield competition where they will be aiming to go all the way but a tough Kerry side stand in their way this Sunday in the RSC. Abel Alabi was the goalscorer last weekend and he will be hoping to repeat that feat this coming weekend.

With the return to play of underage international Tega Agberhiere, it has seen captain Cian Browne move up higher the pitch and this was a massive threat last weekend in Tralee. The 17s are largely made up of players who will be underage again next season so all the experience they have been gaining this year will no doubt stand to them in the future. A 2-2 draw was the result the last time these sides met in WIT Arena in May, however Kerry have been on some great form which has seen them qualify for the U17 Mark Farren Cup Final. A close game is anticipated.

UNDER-19: The final game of the weekend will see our Under-19 side host Dundalk in the last 8 of the competition following our 2nd place finish in the southern division. Gary Hunt’s side have been in some great form in the second half of the season which has seen them pick up 16 points from their final 7 games and averaging almost three goals a game from the whole season, while at the other end they have conceded less than a goal a game. Pretty impressive stats. This is largely down to the current Under-19 top scorer Colm Whelan who has 25 goals to his name as well as net-minders Ben Kirwan and Charlie Heffernan. A 3rd place finish for Dundalk following their final day defeat to Finn Harps set up Sunday’s clash on the RSC main pitch.

Both sides will have a wealth of talent on show and it should be a fantastic game to watch but the Blues will be hoping to progress to the national semi-finals in two weeks’ time.

Head of Youth Development and Under-19 manager Gary Hunt says that all teams are looking forward to this weekend’s feast of football. “We are all looking forward to our respective games this weekend and have been putting in some great work in preparation for them. But the players know they need to show up on Sunday and transfer that practice into performances. It is important especially for our older players in the Academy that they can deal with and perform in these big games but also that they enjoy them. Our Under-19s have had a fantastic season and deserve to be competing for the national title but they know Dundalk will prove a difficult test, but I know they will leave everything out there come Sunday evening.

“Likewise, with our 17s and 13s. It has been great to oversee the development of the Academy and to watch all our players play with a smile on their face and having the opportunity to perform with and against the top talents in this country. I would like to wish all sides the best of luck for their remaining games this season/”

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