Belfast Telegraph

McCotter foresees a bright future for his young guns

By David Kelly

Coach Paul McCotter says he expects his young side to benefit enormously from a breakthrough international event this weekend.

For the first time Northern Ireland will be represented at under-12 level as the sport looks to build a solid base for the future.

Altogether the under-12 boys and girls will compete in three internationals against Wales, twice on Saturday and once on Sunday at La Salle and Methodist College, respectively.

McCotter, who has enjoyed success this year with his Star of the Sea lads, has been working with Northern Ireland academy for the past six weeks.

“It’s great that the guys are having the opportunity to play at this age rather than having to wait two years until the under-14 level which has always been the case up until now,” said McCotter, whose son Jake will be part of the team.

“The guys have been great, they have moulded together very  well,” he said. “We have 18 in the squad and everyone will have a taste of the action.

“The really positive thing is that we have players from all the major teams across Northern Ireland and that can only be good for the sport going forward.”

It’s not only the players who have had to show their commitment as the parents have also had to dip into their pockets in order for their kids to compete.

“Credit to the parents because   they have obviously made sure the kids have been here for every training session but also in order to play there has been a financial cost,” added McCotter, who hasbeen assisted by Marty Sherlock and Star of the Sea legend Javan Dupree.

“Everyone has worked very well so it should be good fun.”

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