A celebration of football and community in Bray saw teams of all ages above 15yrs compete in a 6-aside football tournament organised by Bray Travellers CDG. A competition now in its 23rd year the Thomas Murphy Cup is all about inclusion. Teams from Bray and Wicklow played over four nights which culminated in a pulsating final between United FC and the local favourites and holders The Park Lads. In the end a solitary goal separated the two teams and United FC won the final after an unbeaten run throughout the whole tournament. Their goalkeeper Thomas Connor picked up player of the tournament which is testament to how important a good keeper is in these competitions whether it’s shot stopping or being comfortable having the ball at your feet and playing as the extra man.
Manager of Bray Travellers CDG Jim O’Brien was delighted with the tournament and believes that this year a new generation have brought the competition to life. “It was great to see so many young teams coming together this year to enter the tournament. The quality of football was very high and also the amount of support that came out from the community was fantastic.
We are delighted to be able to run this tournament each year and appreciate the support of the funders, the users committee of the Ballywaltrim Recreation Park and also the Council who ensure that the grass is cut and ready for action. It was great to have our official ref Brendan back again who brings his own style to the occasion, also John Byrne who oversees the facility and equipment, the Wicklow branch of the FAI who were here and local Youth Workers who all come together and add value to this annual tournament.
The Thomas Murphy Memorial Cup is named after a young man who played in the tournament for a number of years before he tragically passed away and it was great to have the family here to present the trophies.”
Speaking after the Final, Cllr Dermot ‘Daisy’ O’Brien was particularly impressed with the atmosphere and positive community connections that are at the heart of this tournament. “Every year I find myself reminiscing with others about the times we played in the tournament and now some of those people have their own children playing! That is a wonderful legacy and a testament to Bray Travellers CDP and Jim in particular for whom this has a special place in his heart. Every year we wonder how many teams we will have and whether the younger generations will step up and I feel that this year is a turning point in that sense, there was such good energy around participation, and I believe it will inspire more teams to get involved next year.”