Latest News

U20’s crowned league champions

U20’s manager Marty Smith was full of delight after watching his team win the NIFL Premiership Development League last night…

A hat-trick from Sam McClintock, a brace from Luke Kelly and Alfie Gaston’s effort sealed a 6-0 win away at Larne and the three points required to win the title.

Whilst acknowledging the hard work of his players and staff throughout the campaign, Smith – who has now delivered the U16, U18 and U20 league titles – also thanked the players’ parents for their dedication in travelling across the country.

In addition, several members of the U20’s squad have been involved in first-team duty throughout the season and Smith remarked how vital it is to keep the production line of players going at The Showgrounds.

“I’m delighted with the success and I feel it’s nothing less than what the players and staff deserve,” he said.

“Winning the league wasn’t our aim at the start of the season as we wanted to push as many players into the first-team set-up as possible.

“Credit must be given to the players as they have travelled all across the country – including their parents – and they have been the best team in the league. The parents have supported the boys through thick and thin and they’ve spent their hard-earned money on fuel going to different venues in the league.

“Plaudits should also go to coaches at all levels within the club as many will have worked with the players to aid in their development at various age groups.

“I would also personally like to thank Ronnie Dealey, Brian Devine and Gary Taylor for assisting me throughout the season.”

The U20’s will receive the title on Thursday night (April 25) when they face Carrick Rangers at the Loughview Leisure Arena (KO 7:45pm).

Smith’s boys could have sealed the deal last Friday night away to Glentoran but they slipped to a defeat in east Belfast.

However, they responded in style on Monday night at Inver Park – much to Smith’s delight.

“Friday was our worst night and performance of the season,” he added.

“We had an off-night but there were no doubts in my mind that we would respond and we emphatically answered any questions against Larne who are a tough side.

“Thursday night will be a nice end to the season as it’s great to lift a trophy and see the players be rewarded for all their hard work.

“There are many players in the squad who have won the league now at U18 and U20 level, with Zac Dealey also successful at U16.”