first_imgSOCCER: Residents, players, managers and fans are gearing up for the 15th annual Arranmore Challenge Cup competition which kicks-off as always this June Bank Holiday Weekend.Regarded as one of the best 7’s tournaments in the country, Island spokesman Jerry Early has described the competition as ‘totally unique’.The tournament attracts top-class footballing talent from all over the country and the UK to the Island every June Bank Holiday Weekend. The mix of quality football, stunning surroundings, superb nightly entertainment and a steady flow of refreshing beverages means it is inevitable that the Arranmore Challenge Cup is regarded as the BEST weekend of football you’ll take part in all year.Teams have consistently returned to the Island for the competition which remains invitational only!This year promises to be another superb tournament as the standard of the competition continues to grow in stature.The tournament is simply addictive, once you play it in once you want to play in it every year and that’s exactly why teams travel from wide and far to participate in this incredible competition. The tournament is also a huge boost to the local economy on the Island and as Jerry says really kick-starts the summer on Arranmore.Jerry told Donegal Daily, “The tournament is ‘totally unique’ and the secret to its success is how well and professional the whole competition is run.“People want to come out to the Island and watch the football on show and the players love playing in it because it really is a special tournament.“The craic and camaraderie between the teams all weekend really is unbelievable, don’t get me wrong it’s competitive as hell but it’s an incredible tournament.“It’s addictive, once you play it in once you just want to keep coming back to it and thankfully that’s what everybody does. Early also said the boost the competition gives to the local economy is vital and says this weekend really kick-starts the summer on the Arranmore.Early also singled out the HUGE effort made by the organising committee for the tournament every year.“It’s a huge economic boost for all the businesses on the Island, that goes without saying and it really does kick-start the summer on Arranmore.“As I said it really is a special, special tournament that continues to get bigger and better every year. “The standard is through the roof and that has improved it hugely, while the craic off it remains as good as it ever was.“However, credit must go to the committee Hugh Rodgers, Conal Kavanagh, Sally Brady and Anne Gaughan for the incredible work they put in all year to make the Arranmore Challenge Cup the best 7’s tournament in Ireland.Now to the football itself, Damo’s Dream and Real Lypis are being backed strongly to both go all the way this year with Clannad Celtic, Gallagher’s Tunnelling and Midland Warriors also hotly fancied.Damo’s Dream will be hoping to have a good tournament after the disappointment of last year’s group exit.They’re coming with a multi-talented squad and will be confident of capturing the cup again.Star striker Davitt Walsh is back and there’s no doubting the quality of the former Finn Harps and Derry City player.Walsh is no stranger to scoring both on and off the park on Arranmore and he’ll be a key player for Damien O’Hara this weekend.Paul McVeigh was the standout player at last year’s tournament and fired Finn Harps to glory.With McVeigh and Walsh up front the Fanad duo are a formidable force and will cause all sorts of problems for defences.Nicknamed Maverick and Goose by teammates they’re both a handful off the park too and will no doubt show there fancy footwork in Smugglers.The popular Garda Sean O’Hara is a Damo’s Dream stalwart and he’ll ‘PATROL’ the back four as always, but he’ll be hoping to avoid the BOOK of referee Con McLaughlin as O’Hara is renowned for his rash tackles.He’ll be joined in defence by the affable Paul Rodgers who will be hoping to draw on the experiences he has had with a Brazilian recently to evoke a samba-style of play at centre-half for Damo’s Dream.Former Wolves midfielder Tommy Bonner and Paddy McLaughlin are the other big names playing for Damo’s, while Chris McGlynn returns to nets after filming for series eight of Geordie Shore ended last week.Real Lypis manager Bernie Lenty will be hoping to mastermind another success.Lenty was gutted when they relinquished the crown last year in the final losing narrowly on penalties to Finn Harps.Lypis have a strong squad and Lenty will be extremely confident of going all the way but knows they face one hell of a task getting out of the group stages.In truth almost every team entered can win the tournament and that’s what makes the competition so special.Who ever wins, one thing is for sure it’s going to be another incredible, unforgettable weekend where friendships are forged and memories are made that will last a lifetime.Let’s hope everybody stays safe and PLEASE, PLEASE let the sun shine.#JBH #Arranmorechallengecup2015JERRY EARLY – “ARRANMORE ISLAND 7’S COMPETITION IS TOTALLY UNIQUE” was last modified: May 30th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:newsSportlast_img read more