Fermanagh Junior manager Gerry Love states that the win over Chilean outfit Union Temuco last Wednesday in the Milk Cup Bowl semi-final was the highlight of a successful week for him and his players.
Fermanagh produced some good performances over the course of the week's competition but it was the 1-0 victory over Temuco that stood out for Love.
"That was the best memory for me, winning the semi-final. The boys beat a team who were physically stronger than us and they were so upbeat after the win. There was a real buzz after the game with everybody looking forward to the final and we had a really great day after that," commented Love.
The side missed out on winning the Bowl competition, losing out 3-0 in the final to Swindon, but on the whole Love feels that the week was a success.
"On reflection it was an enjoyable experience and I would have been pleased with the performances of the boys. Yes, it would have been great if we could have gone on and won the final but having lost 3-0 to Swindon earlier in the week there was probably a mental thing with the players. It would have been key for us to score the first goal if we were to win but that was not to be. I'm delighted though with what the players have achieved in their first major competition," said Love He also believes that the players have progressed well since the squad started out although he does not think that they have enough time to properly prepare for the tournament.
"The squad have exceed our expectations. They have made great progress both in fitness and footballing knowledge although I do think there is a lot of room for improvement in coaching standards for young lads in the county. Also I don't think that ten weeks is really sufficient to do what we wanted to do, for that you would really need nine months with them," he said.
Junior Managements Player of the Tournament Matthew Smyth Players Player of the Tournament Matthew Smyth Man of the Match awards Ciaran Smith v Cruz Azul Jack Ritchie v Swindon Town Matthew O'Donnell v Co. Londonderry Ciaran Smith v Union Temuco Brendan Lilley v Swindon Town