FOOTBALL: Maiden City Soccer Academy launch new adult teams

Maiden City Soccer Academy has now a complete player pathway from four-years-old right through to adult life with the introduction of a Saturday Morning League and Northern Ireland Intermediate League teams.

Maiden City Soccer Academy graduate and current Bournemouth midfielder Eunan OKane pictured at the launch of the Maiden City Soccer adult teams. Also pictured Craigh Lynch (left), Colin Colhoun (Intermediate manager) and new signing Aaron Walsh.

New Maiden City Soccer Intermediate manager Colin Colhoun can’t wait for the new venture to start.

“I’m delighted to be part of this new venture for Maiden City Soccer. It’s an exciting project and I am looking forward to working with Craig (Lynch) and the other members of staff,” he said.

“We hope that this team will provide a platform for players to develop their game and we are currently working on a squad that we feel can perform well at this level.”

Paul Kee, Director of Maiden City Soccer Academy like Colhoun is looking forward to the new adventure, which was launched by Maiden City Soccer Academy graduate and current Bournemouth midfielder Eunan O’Kane.

“We have linked up with the Learmount Group in association with Banagher GAA club and between the three groups we are all going to be working and using the old Park FC facility, which is still a good facility, although the pitch and changing rooms need doing up, but that’s what we are working on at the minute,” he said.

“Because of our culture in this country, you only have to look at the players North and South, we have a lot of late developers, so our sales pitch at the minute is yes we want to develop players for senior football, yes be it Irish League or League of Ireland and it’s right for players to have ambition then we have a path way right up from a very young age into senior ranks.

“Look if have an 18 or 19 year old player who moves on then happy days, but they aren’t all going to move on, so then ones that don’t move on they’ll service the adult teams, either Saturday Morning League or Intermediate team.”

The ex-Institute and Limavady United gaffer at the minute doesn’t have a long term plan.

“At the minute we are just looking to try and provide football and there’s no real long term plan, there’s no big ambitions there, but the reasons’ why I put Colin and Craig in charge of it, was because they are enthusiastic, they’ll want to get a competitive team, which is good, because you need that drive and energy.

“But me personally behind the scenes I’m happy that they are providing football, as long as our training programme are good, the standard of play is good and more importantly the players do progress through.

“Yes we’ll have to see how it evolves and at the minute we have been quite surprised at how well it has been received because we have just kept it under the radar but we’ll maybe start looking for more PR and sponsorship, because it takes a lot of money to run a team, but that’ll be our next step.

“Everything is well on track at the minute and that now completes our player pathway, before we would take players to 17 or 18 and then they would move on, but now we can take them in from toddlers right through technically to their dying days.

“The Learmount Group have been fantastic so far, they are very open and Park traditionally is a GAA area, but they want soccer in there, because they know that there’s young ones who want to play soccer.

“I’m also looking forward to having a good relationship with Banagher, because they are going to be sharing the facility as well for their young kids to do gaelic training and I’m happy enough with that and it’s a good partnership at the minute.”