Cousins’ delight at Hoops’ Under 17 League success
HARD WORK was key to Shamrock Rovers being crowned EA Sports Under 17 National League of Ireland champions, with the team winning all eight games in their elite grouping.
The Hoops seized the league title with a 5-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic two weeks ago and followed it up with a 6-0 victory over Derry City at Roadstone on Saturday.
“We wrapped it up the week before with a 5-0 win against St Pat’s,” said Tony Cousins, Rovers Under 17 Head Coach.
“That game was an accumulation of the whole season’s work, everything that we’ve worked on just came out on that day.
“Their work rate, their ability on the ball, for me it was a complete performance.
“We were in an Elite Group, and to win eight out of eight games, score 30 goals and only concede one is unbelievable.
“We’ve seen great progression in the players since the first game.”
The top three-teams from the three-groups emerge from the round-robin format into the elite group for the final eight games of the season.
It was there that the young Hoops really found their groove and players flourished in the highly-competitive environment.
An example of that progression is Jobstown lad Zayd Abada, who made his senior debut for the first team against Waterford on Friday night before playing against Derry on Saturday.
Thomas Morgan hit the Candystripes net four times and substitute Cian Curtis followed this up with a brace of late goals.
“An important thing for us was the work rate,” Cousins explains.
“We’ve had good teams turned over in the past, maybe their physicality was letting them down, being pushed off the ball.
“The one thing that we said to the players was that we’re not going to be outrun by any team in the league. Work rate, when you don’t have possession of the ball is first, then when you get the ball, you can rely on your ability.”