Photo above: Liam Kehoe of Kehoe Kars Newry presents the Man of the match award to Rubén Salas from LA Sand & Surf. Also in the photo is the match referee, Joe Callaghan.
by Denis McGuinness, Newry U19 Manager
On our final pre season fixture with LA Sand & Surf before the season starts, it was not all about the scoreline. The guys travelling from America wanted to explore Newry and get to know the players and the surroundings from the place in which their senior coach Carl Dickson was born and raised. They traveled from Belfast this morning and had a light training session before lunch which was kindly donated by Courtneys. Then they went into the city to do a bit of shopping with a few of our players until it was time to return for the match.
The match itself was a great experience for both teams but especially the LA lads as they said the Showgrounds stadium and pitch was the best they have ever played on. Although a friendly, the game itself was very much contested and turned into an excellent battle which remained a stalemate until the last five minutes. Paul Hadden, who is the reserves first choice goalkeeper, finished the game off in the unfamiliar position of central midfield and won a good challenge before threading through the pass of the night to speedy Paddy O’Connell who very calmly slotted into the bottom corner to win the match for Newry.
Kehoe Kars Man of the Match tonight was LA Sand and Surf defender Ruben Salas who was excellent keeping our strikers at bay most of the game. The Newry Man of the Match was Kyle Mooney for making some excellent saves to keep a clean sheet and secure the win for his new club after signing from Warrenpoint Town, just a week ago.
I would also like to give thanks to Gerry Hillen, Barry Trainor, Mandy McGuinness, Joe Callaghan and Sean Gaffney for all their work today and for helping to make the occasion a huge success for the club, both on and off the pitch.
Finally congratulations to my squad tonight who represented Newry City AFC on the pitch and afterwards in a very professional manner.
See Video highlights from the match below (Courtesy of Ally McKenzie):