Kerry District League to join SSE Airtricity U17 League
Football continues to make great strides in the Kingdom and 2015 was a breakthrough year for the Kerry District League as their representative sides captured both the SFAI Kennedy Cup and the U15 Galway Cup trophies.
“It’s great to have the Kerry District League in the SEE Airtricity National U17 League. It’s an important area for football to develop in this country," said FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter.
“Kerry have produced a lot of good players before who may have had to travel to play at this level so it’s great that they will now have the opportunity to play at national level with the Kerry League team.
“Kerry won the Kennedy Cup this year so we can see that there is a lot of young talent in the county so this step can be an important help in improving the pathway for players from the area.”
John O'Regan, secretary of the Kerry District League, believes the announcement of the league representative team's participation in the SSE Airtricity National U17 League will be a major boost to the game in the county.
"We're delighted naturally enough. We've been developing our facilities at Mounthawk for a number of years. We had a team in the U20 league several years ago and would have liked to build on that so when this opportunity arose to enter a team we were more than delighted to do so," he said.
"A lot of our players were going to play in the SSE Airtricity League with the likes of Limerick, Cork City and Cobh Ramblers so now they can get to play at the level they are capable of playing without leaving Kerry.
"Providing everything goes according to plan we'd like to progress to U19 level in due course but for the time being this is very positive.
"Winning the Kennedy Cup and the Galway Cup at U15 level this year was fantastic and showed how much talent is in the county and a few years ago Killarney Celtic and Tralee Dynamoes won national cups.
"The county has produced league players for a few years now including the likes of Billy and Darren Dennehy, Shane Guthrie, David Hennessy and many others.