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EMMA RYAN: Ulster hoping to overcome poor start

Ulster U15 team

Ulster U15 team

This weekend, Ulster’s U15 team travel to the U15 Girls Interprovincial Tournament at the AUL Complex, Clonshaugh Dublin. The Interprovincial tournament begins the process of selecting the FAI Schools U15 International development squad.

The three day Tournament began Friday, November 6th and the Ulster team faced Leinster in their first game at 3pm. Unfortunately the game didn’t go to plan for the Ulster team as they were defeated 4-3 against Leinster. Ulster will be disappointed with the result as Leinster’s winning goal came from a penalty.

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Ulster team members come from different areas throughout Donegal and have completed trails in order to be selected to represent their province in the tournament.

The Ulster team is managed by Bridgeen Harley, Emma Duffy and Karen Henry who have put the girls through their paces over the past few weeks selecting the team for the tournament.

“The girls were sent to the trials by their respective schools in the county. We started off with 44 and had to whittle this down to 17. The hardest part was cutting the team down to the required 17. There are so many talented footballers in the county we could have very easily picked double this.” said management member Emma Duffy.

The Ulster team selected have trained together and played in friendlies against Lagan Harps in preparation for the tournament. This weekend the girls have the opportunity to proudly represent their province in a national event and play football against some of the best players in the country.

“We focus solely on winning the matches ahead. This can only happen if our girls work together as a team. Every girl on the squad has their role to play. It’s a big stage for the girls to showcase their ability and I think if the team plays well as a whole it brings out the best in each individual so it’s a win win situation.” said Emma Duffy.

Emma Duffy will know exactly how these girls as feeling as she has competed in similar tournaments when she played underage football. Emma will now take to the sideline and pass on the knowledge she has gained from her experiences.

“I’ve been down the same road as these girls many years ago. It’s fantastic to be involved with the other side of things now, giving these girls the same opportunity I had to showcase the footballing talent Ulster schools has to offer. It will be great to see these girls play against some of the best players in Ireland and show that they too are up there with the best. I hope come Sunday the girls are as proud of themselves as we will be of them.”

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During the matches, the schools international development squad management team will be on the lookout for any potential superstars. If the Ulster team members are successful in being selected for the Schools Irish development squad, they will take part in trials in order to be selected for the team for the Bob Docherty Tournament. The first round of trails will begin on November 21 and then December 5. The Bob Docherty Tournament will take place from April 1 to 4, 2016 in Wales.

Best of luck to the Ulster team and management this weekend.

Ulster team: Clare Friel, Catherine Grier and Eimear Sweeney (Mulroy College, Milford). Sarah Harkin, Amy Boyle Carr and Laura Furey (St. Columba’s Community School, Glenties)/ Emma Doherty, Kerry Brown, Megan Havlin, Kate McClenaghan and Niamh McDonald (Moville Community College). Caoimhe Devlin and Mary Jane Doherty (Carndonagh Community College). Tyler Toland and Neve Scanlon (Deele College, Raphoe). Emma McGee (PCC Falcarragh), Caoimhne Herron(Loreto Community School, Milford)

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