Belvedere F.C. Under 10's Trip to Glasgow
28th February to 2nd March 2003
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Belvedere Under 10's, managed by Graham Kearns and Anthony Corcoran travelled to Glasgow last weekend to take on the old firm. The diary of the weekend goes like this:....
Friday 7a.m. we departed Dublin Airport for Glasgow. We checked into the hotel, had a nice swim in the pool, followed by lunch. We then had a training session in the afternoon at local club, which soon had the boys in good form.
Our next stop was a visit to Celtic Park. While waiting on our Celtic host Brian Meehan to arrive we spotted Martin O'Neill exiting from Celtic Park. We approached him to ask if it was possible to get a photo with the Belvedere players. Although he had another engagement ( it was his birthday dinner with his family ) he came back and posed with the players and wished them all the best in their upcoming matches. We were then taken on a two hour tour of Celtic Park where we visited the tunnel, the pitch, the corporate boxes, the boardroom, and the trophy room. At the end of the visit all the lads received plenty of goodies from Celtic.
We then headed back to our hotel for a quiz and bed ( having been on the go for 16 hours ).
On Saturday, everyone was up bright and early it was off to Celtic Boys Club for our first match. After a cautious start, Belvo took over and played some great stuff. Adam O'Brien and Patsy Hutch scored and this was followed by a great goal by Sean Rogers. Celtic scored just before half-time and another two followed soon after. With the score all level at 3-3 and twenty minutes to left to play, Belvo upped the tempo and further goals gave us a deserved win.
After the game Celtic Boys hosted a reception for Belvedere which was really appreciated. An invitation was given for a return trip. We then left to make a quick dash across Glasgow to see a Scottish Premier League match between Partick Thistle and Dundee. Surprisingly, this was a good game with the visitors Dundee winning 3 - 1. Fir Park is an excellent ground holding about 10,000 all seated. After the game it was back to the hotel for a swim followed by dinner. Another quiz was held and then off to watch the premiership on TV before bed.
Sunday morning we had another early start with a swim at 7.45 a.m. followed by breakfast. We then left for our game against Rangers in Murray Park. Anthony Corcoran as well as managing the team, was also driving us around all weekend, and every journey was like a mystery tour. We never knew which direction we were going but always ended up adding an extra 20 minutes to our journey. Someone said that Anto wanted to show us the whole of Scotland, not just Glasgow.
We arrived at Murray Park at 10 o'clock ... Wow!!!!...... what a place!!!.... £15 million sterling and that was just for the ground. Unbelievable ..... Reception hall, dressing rooms ( all 5 star ). We had asked to play on grass. "OK" they said, but they thought maybe the boys would like to play on the first team's new indoor all-weather pitch. Decision time?...... no contest!!!...... play indoor. Our players were still open mouthed ( not to mind the rest of us ) with the facilities.
Rangers were a very good side and we needed all our players to play exceptionally well just to stay in touch. To make things even harder, Rangers had asked us to play 3 x 20 minutes games. Watching the game was Dutch international player Ronald de Boar, Michael Moles and half the Rangers first team. To add to the excitement Ronald spoke with and gave advice to our team during the break. Although Mark Roche, Michael Tobin and Adam O'Brien each scored for Belvo, Rangers went on to win 6 - 3. Perhaps the exertions of the previous couple of days had caught up with us.
Another reception followed and then it was on to the bus and straight to the airport for the flight home to Dublin.
A special word of thanks is due to the following:
(i) The parents who travelled to Glasgow with us.
(ii) Gerry Reddy for arranging the game and tour of Celtic Park.
(iii) Celtic Boys Club and Rangers F.C.
Belvedere F.C. Under 10's will remember their trip to Glasgow for the rest of their lives : Christopher Beresford, Anthony Corcoran (Jnr), Gavin Flanagan, Patsy Hutch, Stephen Lawless, Mark Roche, Sean Rodgers, Michael Tobin and Emmet White.