The Attic Youth Cafe

Bantry, Co. Cork Ireland

The Attic FC

The Attic FC is the newly founded soccer team of the Youth Cafe. They have soccer practice every Friday. Talk to Mark Gaffney if you're interested in joining the team!

Stay up to date on how the team is doing by reading the reports Jason O'Brien regularly writes for us here...

30.10.2013 - The story so far.

Over the last few weeks the Bantry youth cafe has set up a 5 a side football team, to help improve the skills of the players who have signed up. Mark Gaffney (manager of Attic FC) set this up as a means to get the lads out and improve their skills on the football pitch.
Over the last couple of weeks Mark has thought the basics of shooting passing and blocking. These skills may look simple, but they must be practiced to perfection. It’s simple, but significant. In the first week he taught how to shoot with both feet, making sure the right footers practised on their left and the other way round.
Last week, he thought us the art of passing and blocking off an attacker. Passing looks simple, but if you don’t get your first touch right, then that could spell danger. Mark watched on as the boys were put through their paces in this exercise. He thought the team how to block off an attacker from going through on goal, and to force them out wide to stop them from putting a dangerous ball into the box.
Both sessions ended with a mini football match, where Mark would teach us about positions on the pitch. The players would need to know their own role and stick to it. If anyone was out of position, it would break down the team chemistry and the opponents could attack. There was goals galore in these matches, including well taken goals from the three Burkes, Thomas (Assistant), Paddy and John.
With another training session set for this Friday, and a captain still yet to be named, it will be interesting to see how this team will gel over the coming weeks. Plus, with a first match over the horizon, can this team pull together and pull out an outstanding performance. Only time will tell.

Jason O’Brien 

13.11.2013 - Our Crest and the start of unity.

Attic FC has moved on leaps and bounds since last week, with our crest being chosen and the team looking like it’s starting to gel. The crest which can be viewed on the links below was brilliantly designed by Charlotte and Francesca,before she left for England. It is an impressive crest, one of which I am sure the boys would love to have on their jerseys.
In last week’s training session, Mark’s main aim of focus was our passing, being able to trap the ball and lay it off quickly and efficiently. He worked on our diagonal passes, and being able to pass while moving, whilst moving on ourselves looking for another pass. He also looked at our dribbling techniques, being able to keep the ball at our feet and being able to go through defenders. He used cones to help out our control of the ball, and to help us with going past the cones in the neatest way possible.
After all that there was time for a match and it was the best yet. The chemistry between the players was on a different level to other weeks and there were goals galore. The Burke Brothers were at it again, with all of them, Thomas, John and Paddy, scoring some great goals. Defending was good throughout the game though, which is a sign that this team is starting to take shape. A few more training sessions like this and this team could be ready for matches in the foreseeable future.
Now with the players starting to take the training head on and putting in 110% every time, this team could be ready for a stiffer challenge. With a new captain still yet to be named by Mark and the team starting to gel, this could be an exciting time for Attic FC. Let’s hope the lads keep it up and get themselves ready for new challenges that await them in the coming weeks.

Jason O’Brien

11.12.2013 - Group Unity Starting To Show

Over the last few weeks, Attic FC has moved on leaps and bounds. The team is starting to gel and the players are starting to get into the routine of things. Over the last few weeks Mark has focused on our dribbling skills, getting past opponents whilst keeping the ball as close to us as possible. The players were also taught the way of passing diagonally, not just in one simple fashion. Movement was important the boys have to run on after they have played the ball and keep up the momentum in the attack.
A few weeks ago, the side was given a skill demonstration by Conor Ellis, who has recently signed for Cork City, and who recently scored for the Cork City youths against Shelbourne, joined for a training session to show us some skill moves that could help in tricking our opponents and start attacks. These tricks included the step-over and the famous Zidane touch and drag. He thought all the players how to do these tricks and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Conor living the dream and hopefully some of the Attic fc players might find their way into a top team as well.
As always, each training was ended with a match, in which Mark would look at players positioning and what sort of formation we should be playing. One of the bright points of these matches was the chemistry up front between Thomas Brenden Burke and Blazej. Both of these players linked up very well and seemed to have a common wave length. Paddy Burke was given advice on his positioning on the wing whilst Stefen and John Burke were also advised about their positioning. I was told to play in the center and to start attacks, whilst staying in position in case the other side broke away.
With another training schedule set for this week, and with the players really getting into their positions, this could be a very interesting time for the side. Mark has also confirmed that he is looking at possible opponents for this side, which will drive the players on for the next week or so. A captain is still yet to be named, but with the team the way it is, there seems to be many leaders in there anyway. This is an exciting period for the team, and all we want is to get that first match going so we can show what we can do. All we need now is an opposition, and they better be worried of this up and coming side.

Jason O’Brien

08.01.2013 Attic FC- The Match

Attic FC 12- 16 Bantry European Eight
Bitter defeat sweetened by terrific performance.
Before the Christmas break, Attic FC were given their first test in a match against an older, experienced and established in a four vs four match.
This was the starting point to which our team could see how we have developed over the last few months. Whilst our experience was limited against top opposition, our team knew that a good performance could elevate this team to bigger and better things. Mark had picked a very attacking team for this match, and it showed as Deano Horgan showed why Mark put the faith in him as a striker by grabbing the opening two goals of the game.
BEE came back strong as they continuously attacked at our goal. James Foley gave a really good account of himself in goal as he tried his best to keep out the opposition. The experience of the opposition took its toll on this young team, but there were many positives for every player in this match.
In my last update I talked about the bond struck up between Blazej and Thomas, and this certainly showed as their creative play continued on an even bigger scale. Both men scored 4 goals and Blazej was very unlucky not to score from a chip that went agonizingly over. Deano grabbed himself a Hat trick as well, as his attacking play gets better with every game he plays. I and James did our bit in goal, keeping out the opposition on many occasions when a goal may have looked a certainty. Paddy Burke and Stefan played well when called upon, both playing on the wings as we looked to use our pace to get down the flanks.
There was only going to be one man of the match though, and deservedly it went to John Burke. He never gave up on anything, he kept pressurising the opposition, forcing them into the mistakes, and even when the game was beyond us, he managed to grab himself a goal. What a goal it was as well, receiving the ball, in the penalty area he was left one on one with the keeper and placed the ball coolly through the keepers legs, a very neat finish from the young man.
Overall this team showed grit and determination even when it looked difficult to see how we might get anything from a team who were over the age of 25. Defensively at times we were caught, as their experience showed with the goals that they dispatched. However, that should not take anything away from what was an excellent performance from the boys and one that shows that practice really does make perfect.
Now to see where our next match takes us, as the Attic FC book begins yet another chapter in this New Year.

Jason O’Brien