Drogheda Boys football club’s annual Paddy Mooney summer school concluded last Saturday at Hunky Dorys Park. Over 90 children attended the four week event this year with the first three Saturday sessions taking place at the club’s grounds at Marley’s Lane, Drogheda. The boys and girls, aged between 4 and a half and 9, had the chance to work with over 20 coaches over the four week period in a mix of fun games and skills development. The culmination of all the fun and hard work was an extravaganza in Hunky Dorys Park where the kids were joined by Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke and his players along with mascot Droggie who got involved in games with the delighted children.
Paddy Mooney who passed away in 1998 was one of the club’s most talented and successful coaches, dedicating much of his time to ensuring local children from Drogheda had a place to enjoy and learn the game. Soccer coaching for children under 8 years old is a relatively new concept, but Paddy had the idea way back in 1990.
Speaking of Paddy, club Chairperson John Maguire said “Paddy was convinced that we should have a camp for the toddlers and in 1991 the Drogheda Boys cubs academy was formed which ran through the summer. It’s been a success ever since. When Paddy sadly passed away we decided to name it after him, in honour of him, his wife Regina and his family. To this day you can still see the enormous and positive effect Paddy had on the club.”
Speaking about this years camp, Drogheda Boys head of coaching Rory Kerr was enthusiastic in his praise, “I’d like to thank all the coaches who gave their time over the four weeks, as well as the ladies whose organisation behind the scenes helped to make the Paddy Mooney Soccer School a great success. I’d also like to thank Drogheda United for making Hunky Dorys Park and the team available on our last day. But the most important thanks goes to over 90 children who made everyone enjoy the school.” He further added, “The Paddy Mooney is all about teaching the basics of the game, with technical elements, agility and 4v4 games being to the forefront.”
Drogheda Boys is the official feeder club to Drogheda United and the close links were never more evident than when seeing the Airtricity League stars working with the kids who were decked out in special t-shirts, face-paint and who all received medals on completion of the school.
Drogheda Boys will have 19 teams competing at various ages from 7-16 this season and their weekly coaching sessions for toddlers from 4 years old upwards will resume in early September. Check www.droghedaboys.com in the coming weeks for further details.