Villa FC ready for All-Ireland President's Junior Final


Villa FC ready for All-Ireland President's Junior Final

FAI Junior Cup Champions Villa FC will be looking to add to their trophy cabinet this weekend when they head to Northern Ireland in the All-Ireland Presidents Junior Cup final.
13th Jan 2023

Villa FC are set to face Northern Ireland's Junior Cup Champions Coalisland FC in the fixture which pits the FAI & IFA Junior Cup Champions against each other to decide the All-Ireland Junior Cup Champions.

The competition, which was founded in 2018, saw Ireland's Fairview Rangers claim the title last year in an entertaining final at Tallaght Stadium against Willowbank FC after a penalty shoot-out victory.

Villa FC, the Waterford club, secured the FAI Junior Cup with a 1-0 win over Pike Rovers at Turner's Cross last year and Coad admitted the title has been huge for the club.

"It's definitely had a real impact on the club, the perception of the club and the interest of the club has increased, even things like the social media following has gone up so winning the competition has had a real impact," said Villa FC manager Conor Coad.

"It has changed probably the mindset of teams when they face us as well. Being the Champions puts a target on your backs so teams who we face now are definitely more motivated against us to get a result.

"It has meant we've had to go up a gear ourselves and the players have put in a huge effort to maintain our standards."

Luckily for Coad, because of the connection the players have with the club, the vast majority of the squad has remained together.

"We've been able to keep 90-95% of the squad together and we've made a couple of additions to the squad to cover a couple of injuries," Coad continued.

"The squad has mainly been able to stay together which is a real positive because of the connection the players have with the club. It's a good group and the players and their families feel a real connection so it's definitely helped us in that regard."

Villa FC will be missing James Kennedy for the final at the weekend who suffered a long-term ACL injury with the squad set to travel up to Armagh on Saturday for the match.

Determined to add to the trophy cabinet, Coad has been able to get some information on the weekend's opposition which should help in their quest to be the first Waterford club to win the competition.

"There are one or two games available but obviously, at this level, it is one of them where getting information on the opposition is quite difficult," admitted Coad.

"I've been able to speak to a few contacts to get a bit of information on the team which will be helpful but look, we know it is going to be a difficult game as it's a final and we've got to be right for it.

"We've trained well this week and the preparation has been good before we travel up on Saturday and we're determined to win. It's a competition and the motivation is high because we want to be the first team from Waterford to win the cup."

Competition: President's Junior Cup Final
Fixture: Coalisland FC vs Villa FC
Date: Saturday, January 14
KO: 2pm
Venue: Armagh City FC, Holm Park, Armagh