It’s full steam ahead for Deele College, as their U-15 team prepare for the school’s first ever All-Ireland Final, which will take place on April 5th against St Brendan’s College, Killarney. The venue has yet to be decided.
The side, managed by Andy McFadden have progressed to the final in blistering form, with a 5-3 win against Connaught side, St. Gerard’s in the semi-final. That win came just 24 hours after their nerve wracking 5-4 win in the Ulster Final against PCC Falcarragh, where they came from 4-1 down to claim the silverware.
Two games in two days for the lads was a big ask, but thankfully they have prevailed and will now have plenty of time to prepare both mentally and physically for the task ahead. Team captain, Robbie Donnell has been in inspirational form, scoring four goals in the last two games and has been the driving force behind the team’s success this year.
The Carrigans lad says that it is an honour for him to be leading out the first team from Deele College to ever play in an All-Ireland final. He puts the success down to the hard work of the boys and the never-say-die attitude that has been evident throughout the campaign.
“The boys have been excellent, we’ve come from behind in four games this season and in the final we were 4-1 down ten minutes into the second half. We’ve refused to be defeated and that says a lot about this group of players.”
When asked about the opposition, the midfielder said that although they know very little about their opponents, it will be up to themselves to play their own game.
“We’ll just go out and play our own game, the way we have been doing all season and hopefully that will be enough to see us over the line.”
Team manager, Andy McFadden says that it has been a great season so far and that the boys have acquitted themselves well over the course of the competition.
“In the Ulster semi-final, I thought that goals were going to be a problem but ten goals in two games has disproved that.
“The squad are a lovely group with a great work ethic and more importantly there are no superstars, just a good solid squad.”
School Principal, Joe Boyle says that he is delighted that the school has finally made it to a final and he is hopeful that the boys can bring the cup back to Raphoe.
“Michael Gallagher’s U-19 side should have made the final two years ago and were unfortunate in a penalty shoot-out in the semi-final so it is great that we have finally got a team to the final. The next step now is making sure that the lads bring the silverware back to the school in Raphoe.
“I want to congratulate each and every one of the players for their commitment to this team and as a principal, it is great to have a group of boys who refuse to be beaten, which is evident from the way their matches have gone. I want to say well done to Andy McFadden who is the manager and I, along with the entire school community would like to wish the lads all the best in the final and we hope that they can get over the final hurdle.
Squad: David Arthur, Oisin Bonner, Corey Brolly, CJ Clarke, Shane Coyle, Robbie Donnell, Pearce Lindsay, Jack McAuley, Corey McBride-Gillen, Gavin McGee, Ronan McKinley, Anton Murtagh, Aaron O’Donnell, Dean Quigley, Zach Tinney.