The countdown is on to this year’s FAI Primary School 5s National Finals which takes place in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Wednesday, May 31 with seven National titles up for grabs.
The first section is relatively new to proceedings with four Special Schools lining out in the Football for All category. Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal, St. Columba’s NS, Douglas, Cork, Scoil Eoin, Crumlin, Dublin and St. Anne’s School, Ennis, Clare will compete in the Special Schools division with the chance of lifting a National title.
The players are gearing to go and have put in some extra practice in the run up to the finale. With the calibre of players featuring in the provincial stages, it should be a brilliant end to their Cup campaign.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, last season, we piloted the initiative with recreational in-house competitions taking place nationwide. A draw was completed to invite schools to participate at the Dublin venue.
However, this season, we returned to our traditional knock-out competitions with the schools winning through to the National showcase. The last competitive outing for these schools was four years ago so the anticipation is mounting now for all involved.
In the mainstream category, six sections will see the schools divided in Provincial representatives in small, medium and large schools’ divisions. The girls are encouraged to play with the boys in the ‘A’ Cup, ‘B’ Cup and ‘C’ Cup sections but there is a separate competition for girls only; ‘A’ Girls Cup for small schools, ‘B’ Girls Cup for medium schools and the ‘C’ Girls Cup for large schools.
The event will see 224 children from 28 schools participate in the final stages of the competition following four months of fun filled nationwide activity. The qualifying schools have come through their local County events, Regional and/or Provincial qualifiers to reach this stage of the competition with players eager to get togged out again for the conclusion of the tournament.
This year, the programme featured 1,802 schools with a total of 41,384 children participating which is a new record for the Primary 5s programme which has been in existence since the mid-1990s.
13 counties will be represented in the Aviva with Donegal leading the charge with seven representatives. The Donegal army hail from Letterkenny (2), Carndonagh, Buncrana, Raphoe, Lurgybrack and Kerrykeel. The yellow and green bunting will be visible in the Stadium on Finals Day.
Limerick and Galway have an impressive four schools qualified. Cork, Carlow and Mayo have two schools lining out. Meanwhile, Offaly, Kildare, Westmeath, Wicklow, Tipperary, Dublin and Clare will each have one representative. The action will commence at 11.30am with the Football For All and Girls sections kicking us off. The Boys or mixed section will do battle at 3pm.
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