LGFA U17 Academy Programme hits new heights!

Our National U17 Academy Blitz took place in the fantastic surroundings of Naomh Mearnóg GAA Grounds in Portmarnock, Dublin in late August.  Fourteen teams representing 12 Counties, an increase of 5 Counties from 2015, took part in a fantastic day of football.

16.08.2016. LGFA U-17 National Blitz, Naomh Mearnog GAA, Portmarnock.

There were many highlights from the day which saw Limerick capture their first ever National title at this age group. Carlow beat ‘the Dubs’ for the second year in a row as they captures the Shield. Kildare made it a hat trick of titles in three years in the u17 Blitz by overcoming Mayo in a dramatic shootout in the plate final.

Cork, for the third year in a row supplied two teams along with one team each from Dublin, Mayo, Meath, Kildare, Armagh, Carlow, Limerick, Offaly, Galway, Sligo, Donegal and Clare.

The LGFA took the decision to implement the U17 Academy programme two years ago to help bridge the gap that exists between Under 16 and minor football where there is a well-documented fall off in participation levels at this age grade. Counties were invited to set up an U17 Academy programme within their Counties with the ultimate aim being to have a squad ready for the national blitz.

There was a great take up for the initiative with 13 counties running the programme throughout the Summer Months. Many of the participants in these squads may have never represented their counties at under 16 or minor level so this provided an opportunity for these young players to wear their county colours in competitive action.

The participating counties were divided into 3 Groups with Dublin, Kildare, Cork One, Sligo and Armagh in group one, group two comprised of Galway, Donegal, Meath and Clare while  Cork two, Limerick, Mayo, Carlow and Offaly made up group 3. All played round robin games in the group stages and then progressed onto the knockout phase of the competition.

In the end, it was Limerick who were crowned champions after defeating a very impressive Armagh outfit in the Championship final. Carlow, who seem to have a hoodoo on Dublin in this competition, defeated the well drilled host County in the Shield Final while Kildare had a titanic battle with Mayo to win the Plate final after a shootout.

The blitz was a great success with the real value not being found in the silverware presented at the end of the day but rather in the experience for these girls in wearing their county jersey and meeting players from other counties along with coaches having the chance to develop player’s skills and unearth some new talents that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Next year we hope to see more Counties take on this exciting initiative as it is a natural progression from the U13 and U15 Development Squad programme.

Complete results from the Blitz:

Group 1

Dublin 2-5 Kildare 1-5

Cork One 2-5 Sligo 0-1

Armagh 4-2 Kildare 0-1

Dublin 3-3 Sligo 0-3

Armagh 3-3 Cork One 2-4

Sligo 1-0 Kildare 2-4

Dublin 2-5 Cork One 1-1

Armagh 6-4 Sligo 1-1

Cork One 2-2 Kildare 3-6

Dublin 1-3 Armagh 3-2

Group 2

Meath 1-1 Donegal 0-8

Clare 1-1 Galway 2-4

Meath 0-2 Galway 2-4

Clare 1-2 Donegal 0-6

Meath 0-3 Clare 0-6

Galway 0-8 Donegal 1-3

Group 3

Carlow 6-6 Offaly 0-0

Limerick 2-5 Mayo 2-2

Cork Two 6-6 Offaly 0-0

Carlow 3-2 Mayo 2-0

Limerick 2-4 Cork Two 0-1

Mayo 6-2 Offaly 0-1

Carlow 0-3 Limerick 1-3

Mayo 2-3 Cork Two 0-2

Limerick 3-5 Offaly 0-2

Carlow 3-7 Cork Two 1-0


Playoff 1              Armagh 1-5 Galway 1-1

Playoff 2              Galway 0-1 Limerick 0-4

FINAL                    LIMERICK 1-4 Armagh 1-2


Playoff 1              Donegal 0-0 Carlow 0-7

Playoff 2              Donegal 1-1 Dublin 2-3

FINAL                    CARLOW 1-3 Dublin 0-3


Playoff 1              Kildare 0-5 Mayo 5-1

Playoff 2              Kildare 2-8 Clare 1-3

FINAL                    KILDARE 2-3 Mayo 2-3 (Kildare win 4-3 in a shootout)

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