ETB International victorious over Irish Defence Forces
The excellent facilities at the University of Limerick played host to an entertaining friendly on Thursday May 12th between the Irish Defence Forces and the FAI ETB Representative side who ran out 4-1 winners.
In a 5-day training camp prior to a meeting with the UK Defence Forces, the Irish Defence Forces were ramping up their preparations with a second game in four days, while the FAI ETB squad was coming together for the first time since 2019.
A week after the Waterford ETB programme lifted the 2022 Bobby Smith Cup, a trophy awarded annually following a season-long tournament among the FAI ETB centres, 20 players from across the country were afforded the opportunity to represent Ireland.
Colm Kavanagh’s Defence Forces had been preparing diligently for their crunch game in Tallaght Stadium against their British counterparts with the game starting brightly with both sides testing the opposition goalkeepers in the opening minutes.
Flying Waterford winger Dylan Butler, who was player of the match in the Bobby Smith Cup final, broke the deadlock with the ETB side taking an early lead. Before the Defence Forces could regain a foothold, Cork-based Ciaran Griffen doubled the lead before the opponents pulled a goal back before a missed penalty from the Defence Forces left the ETB side leading at the break.
The second-half saw the ETB extend their lead with goals from Limerick ETB striker Jack Ryan and Tim O’Reilly from Cork putting the result beyond doubt. A satisfying win for the FAI ETB side, and a welcome return to action following the pandemic.
The FAI ETB Player Development Programme is a full-time training course for aspiring footballers across nine venues nationwide, providing a pathway for their learners into professional football and into further education and employment.
In previous years, the squad had toured England and Spain, playing friendlies against Reading FC and Real Betis, providing a strong incentive for successful applicants to join the programme. The courses operate in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Dundalk and Castlebar, catering for male and female players over the age of 16. Additional details can be found on here or on Instagram here.
ETB Squad: Adam Gallagher (GK), Jonathan Moran, Jake Prendergast, Ethan Fitzgerald, Josh Shinners, Sean Oyibo, Jack Ryan, Craig Prendergast, Jeffrey Dore (all Limerick ETB), Connor Cummins (GK), Emmanuel Yartey, Ivan Homoki, Dylan Butler (all Waterford ETB), Rob Walsh, Ryan O’Connor, Ciaran Griffen, Timmy O’Reilly (all Cork ETB), Luke Brady, Evan Murphy, Ross O’Brien (all Cabra ETB)
Staff: Paddy Carey (Waterford ETB), Dave Hill (Cork ETB), Shane Tracy (Limerick ETB), Craig Reddan (Physio)