Stars of the future honoured for their fancy footwork ...
IT was celebration on the double over the weekend as both the Dublin District Schoolboys League and the North Dublin Schoolboys League hosted their annual awards presentations.
The Robbie Keanes and Damien Duffs of tomorrow brought their best smiles with them as they collected a haul of awards from the two heavyweight schoolboy leagues of Irish soccer.
The combined total handed out over the weekend between both leagues is a staggering 140 trophies
The North Dublin League kicked off on Friday evening at the Oscar Traynor Coaching and Development Centre where the league made presentations to their U-15s to U-18s with 300 attending.
That was followed on Saturday with more than 60 league and cup presentations as the progressive league signed off on a season of noteworthy development.
Close to 750 players, parents and managers were present at the OTCDC as league cups were proudly accepted by winning captains from across the league, which caters for 10,000 players.
Next season, the NDSL will introduce non-competitive five-a-side football -- where it is hoped that the youngest players will be given a more productive development pathway while also counteracting the competitive nature of this section of the game.
Honorary Secretary Tony Gains, in his address to the assembled body congratulated all the trophy recipients but also made an impassioned plea for respect for the opposition and for respect for referees.
Said Gains: "Each year we lose close to 20 referees as a result of abuse on the pitch, but mostly from the sideline, from parents and managers. This is simply unacceptable and we embrace UEFA's ethos of Respect."
See Striker for a round-up of presentation pictures from the DDSL and NDSL weekend awards