Island under-18 squad named for Youth Cup
THE Isle of Man FA has named a preliminary squad of 24 ahead of the under-18 side’s FA County Youth Cup first round tie with Staffordshire at the Bowl in November.
Among the rising stars of Manx football selected are Laxey duo Shaun Kelly and Jackson Brown, who have both featured heavily for the Canada Life Premier League leaders this season, and Eric Kelly (St John’s), Nick Sloan (St John’s), Ste Whitley (St Mary’s) and Connor Gorman (St Mary’s) who have also been top-flight regulars this term.
This is the first season that the under-18 squad has been included within the IoMFA’s Development Centre structure and it is intended that the players involved will have the opportunity to continue their football learning process beyond the FA County Youth Cup.
November’s fixture against Staffs is the first opportunity that the under-18s will have to play a competitive game on the refurbished Bowl and indeed it is the first home draw for the u18s since the 2009 ‘Dream’ team which played in that epic semi-final against Kent CFA, ultimately going out on penalties.
Isle of Man FA Chief Executive Frank Stennett added: ‘The under 18s team is such an important part of Manx football. We believe the inclusion of this age group within the Development Centre is a major step forward which can only enhance the players that will represent us in the forthcoming FA County Youth Cup competition. In the longer term these players are the senior squad players of the future and providing them all with consistent high-quality training and off-island games can only be a major boost to all the players and coaching staff concerned. It is a long time since our under-18s played at home in the FA County Youth Cup and I would encourage as many supporters to come along to the Bowl on November 10 to give support to our team against Staffordshire FA U18s.’
The squad is as follows:
GK: Chris Biddulph (Union Mills), Tudor Baker (St Marys), Jamie Kitchen (Ramsey)
DEF: Jordan Kelly (Ramsey), Rob McCowliff (Laxey), Tom Wood (Peel), Eric Kelly (St John’s), Callum Campbell (Corinthians), Josh Dunlop (Ayre United), Oliver Blaker (RYCOB), Harry Best (Colby)
MID: Declan Cummins (Laxey), Connor Gorman (St Mary’s), Ste Whitley (St Mary’s), Shaun Kelly (Laxey), Jackson Brown (Laxey), Joe Morling (Union Mills), Cian Geoghegan (St Mary’s), Rowan Richardson (Peel), Joe Callaghan (Colby), Connor Birch (Laxey).
FOR: Nicky Sloan (St John’s), Jamie Brew (RYCOB), Lewis Griffiths (Corinthians).
The squad will begin training this week and their first warm up game will be against Liverpool County FA’s u18s at Walton Hall Avenue on Saturday, October 20 with a 1pm kick-off.
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