Thursday 21 February 2019

NDSL deserve their reward for effort

NDSL manager Karl Carpenter could afford himself a broad smile as he looked back on a glorious week culminating with the capture of the fabled Kennedy Cup.

But in claiming the most sought after prize in Irish schoolboy football, Carpenter was anxious to ensure that those who had helped end the DDSL’s seven-year domination of the tournament were afforded due credit.

“We won because we were well organised and had good intelligence on the teams we played. “We had teams looked at and we knew their shape and, along with the technical staff, we drew up game plans and, in fairness, the kids all responed and did what was asked of them.”

Carpenter explained that the NDSL had used several shapes - 4-4-1, 4-3-3, 3-4-3 and 4-4-2 - depending on the game and the opposition. “We grew as a team as the week progressed and we got our bit of luck to allow us get out of the group, but this squad has been building for four years and Paddy Roche only came on in February when we had an open trial.”

“It’s tremendous for the league because they have invested in an academy structure and I’m delighted for the likes of Liam Farrell, Tony Gains and Gary Tolan – our head of delegation as well as the women who came down and looked after the kids and they were just first class.” Carpenter also took time out to pay tribute to the DDSL: “John Devine is an excellent coach and the league have a superb record and I suppose they were there to be shot down, but they have been great ambassadors and John was magnanimous in defeat and had good words to say to me and the kids, but I’d expect that of him, he’s that type of person.”

Prior to kick-off, Carpenter encouraged his charges to seize the moment and leave nothing behind and to remember the Kennedy Cup final for the rest of their lives. Suffice to say, the heroes of the NDSL answered the call and they will have absolutely no problems remembering the week they took on all and finished top of the pile and returned home as champions of Ireland!

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