10 May 2012
We reproduce here a story from our Partner in Ireland and their Street League Competition.
Belfast win out as 28 teams competed for the mantle of All-Ireland Street League Soccer 5 A-Side Champions 2012 in Tallaght.
In what was an incredible days football, played in atrocious conditions -due to constant downpours, teams representing Big issue Street Leagues from Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Longford, Waterford, Belfast, Wexford and Portlaoise numbering 28 in total came together at the The Postal Sports & Social Club, Tallaght for the climax of the Street League season.
The final saw Belfast edge out Longford in a penalty shootout after extra time failed to separate the sides with the score at 2 -2. Belfast's Gerard Duff Scored the winning penalty and was also awarded player of the tournament.
In all over 280 players took part in an excellent days football. Regardless of who won the trophy each individual player had something to play for with World Cup places for the 2012 Homeless World Cup in Mexico at stake.
As is customary the leagues individual prizewinners were also announced with FAI CEO John Delaney and Minister for housing Jan O Sullivan, Deputy mayor Pamela Kearns and Sinn Fein's Sean Crowe presenting the trophies to the worthy winners.
Sean Kavanagh Founder and Chairman of The Big Issue Street soccer leagues was delighted with the tournament: "Today we saw what football is all about. Skill, commitment and sportsmanship, there were no prima donnas out there, just honest lads who have overcome adversity and love the game".
"The lads can be truly proud of themselves for playing in such adverse weather conditions it’s testament to the dedication of the players and I know that those chosen to represent Ireland in the Homeless World Cup in Mexico in October will make us proud." John Delaney. CEO FAI
Ireland’s Big Issue Street league Winners 2012
All Ireland Winners: Belfast
Runners up: Longford.
Player of the tournament: Gerard Duff ( Belfast)
Fairplay Trophy: Limerick
Individual Street League Winners
Belfast Player of the year: Gerard Duff
Cork Player of the year: Jake Moynihan
Dublin Player of the year: Alan Ferris (Cabra League)
Galway Player of the year: Ayo
Longford Player of the year: Jimboy Morgan
Portlaoise Player of the year: David Nevin
Wexford Player of the year: Jamie Boyle
Wheatfield Prison Player of the year: Vinnie Flynn