VILLA FOOTBALL CLUB was founded in Waterford in 1953.


U13B League Cup semi final :

Villa B - DLS A 2:3 AET

Sponsored by: Kilbarry SuperValu

Finally we got our semi final match date and we played in Villa grass on perfect prepearate pitch . Before the game started we had one minute of silence for Avu and Gilbert who lost their life in the tragic accident. We would like to pass on its deepest condolences to both families at this really difficult time.
DLS started very well and at 9 min they scored first 0:1. Was very hard for us to combine, passing or pressing because DLS players were dominant and at 25 min scored again 0:2. Well deserved winning first half time for DLS.
We told the lads at half time that one goal can change the game but they have to believe and play like a team.
We started to press better and at 37 min defender passed back to goalkeeper and he caught the ball. We had a free kick in the box, Kyle pass Adam and he finished to the left bottom corner from the post 1:2. No chance for the goalkeeper. We played very well after we scored and we played completely different football than the first half. At 57min we had a free kick where Tomi took the ball and shot in the middle of the goal. The ball bounced before the keeper and went to goal 2:2.
We went to Extra Time and nobody wanted to lose that game, unfortunately 3 minutes before the second Extra Time finish DLS scored. I would like to thank the DLS Team and referee for a very good and fair play game. Thanks to all Villa members, families members and parents for NEVER ENDING support !!!! The biggest thank you is for U12B players to come to help because we were missing 7 players, you were fantastic !!!


The Villa FC community is hugely shocked and saddened at the news that came through yesterday of the tragic passing of our U17 player Avu Idris.

Avu has played for the club for a number of years and was not only a very good player, but above all was a really nice young lad who always had a smile on his face. He loved football, playing with the club and his teammates and only recently took huge pleasure as he & his team won the Under 17 Cup Final.

The club would like to pass on its deepest condolences to his family and friends at this really difficult time. Our thoughts are also with the coaches & teammates that Avu has had in his time in Villa.

We would also like to pass on our condolences to the family of Gilbert Collins who also lost his life in this tragic accident.

Sometimes life just isn’t fair and this is one of those occasions. RIP Avu


U11H Final

*Villa* 1
*St Saviours* 1

_Villa win 3-2 on penalties_

⚽️ Jayden Edogiaware

It was the big final and our opponents were St. Saviours and a nice evening in Tramore set the backdrop for the final game of the season.

Due to holiday season the team were down some key players: Niall Dunphy, Finn Grant and Filip Cymnowski so a reshuffling of the team was needed.

The changes were not detrimental at first with Villa starting brightly and earning a penalty after just 2 minutes when Jayden Edogiaware was fouled in the box.

If Jayden felt pressure, he didn't show it as he typically drilled the ball low into the corner with real purpose. It was a great finish and brilliant start to the game.

That start wasn't maintained with Villa having to soak up a lot of pressure with a remarkably improved St. Saviours team putting Villa under a lot of pressure.

Despite this, there were not a lot of chances in the first half with both goalies being kept quiet.

The reshuffling of the team did affect Villa but we held on to keep the scoreline 1-0 going into half time.

At half time we changed formation to provide some cover in midfield but the game remained relatively scrappy with few chances at both ends. Apart from a lovely shot from Hope Dikgale there was little to report from Villa.

St. Saviours were dangerous from goal kicks with Villa being slow to adapt to that playstyle. Villa were left off the hook when the St. Saviours player broke free but missed from 10 yards out.

Another effort on goal followed which was of real high quality but this was matched by Ewan Power's excellent save, a save that would lead to what could have been a telling shoulder injury.

Soon after, with 10 minutes to go, a mix up in defence lead to an unfortunate hand ball and another penalty which was dispatched well.

At 1-1 Villa were hanging in there and things disapproved when Ewan had to off with a shoulder injury but fair play to Cein Bailey who stepped up and took his position.

Rolling into extra time Ewan bravely vowed to continue in goal leading to yet more changes being made in defence.

However, the defence stood firm with Aaron O'Brien, David Okojie, the aforementioned Cein, Jace Keating and the commanding Aidan Gallagher being resolute.

James Kissane, in a new position, ran himself to the ground and sheltered the back 3 expertly and was duly aided by Harry Fitzpatrick, Hope Dikgale and James Hearne.

With 3 cup games going to extra time the lads were battle weary at this stage but plugged away nonetheless. Jake Peterson, Jayden and Freddie Wakeham were starved of service all game but kept working and providing an out ball for defence.

Extra time petered out to an imevitable third penalty shoot-out in the cup to much excitement of a clearly engaged crowd.

Drama ensued with penalties going over, going wide, being saved, crashing against the bar, being taken too soon, and this cumulated with St Saviours missing their 7th penalty, with Ewan the usual hero.

Not content with saving the penalty and being captain of the day, it was Ewan who was next to take the 7th penalty which he proceeded to bury high into the net to claim the cup for this excited group of players.

3 rounds, 3 penalty shoot-out wins and drama all the way. What a great gang of players who topped off their 2nd league place with this cup win.

Must mention the contribution of Niall Dunphy, Filip Cymnowski and Finn Grant who were key players all season and all team mates were thrilled to win each of them a well deserved medal.

Thanks to St Saviours for a really hard fought encounter, your kids put in an excellent performance and penalties is a cruel way to lose out.

Final mention to all the parents, school friends of the team, and supporters who showed up in numbers and really helped.

A nice calming end to an exciting season so...


Under 11 Cup Final Villa G v St Saviours

Best of luck to our Under 11G squad and management who play their Cup Final in Tramore tonight v St Saviours. Kick off is 7pm in Tramore and it would be great to see a good support there for the lads!

Photos from VILLA FOOTBALL CLUB's post 24/06/2024

Villa FC Summer Camps in Partnership with Kilbarry SuperValu kick off next Monday July 1st.

Booking for all of our summer camps are now live.
7 weeks of fun filled football camps.
Family and multi camp discounts available.

Boys & Girls Camps

Girls Only Camps


U13A Cup
Sponsored by Kilbarry SuperValu
Villa 3-4 Dungarvan AET
We welcomed Dungarvan to workLAB Connors Park for the second week running. We produced our best first half display of season where we dominated throughout. Yago & Kareem’s pace down the wings giving Dungarvan problems every time they got on ball. We took the lead midway through the half when Max played a ball back in to the box and Yago volley home brilliantly. Kareem was next to go close as a finger tip save denied him. We got our second on 20 minutes when Jacob’s corner was met on volley by Maksym at back post. We added a third soon after when Jacob got in behind the defence and fired past the keeper. In truth we could have been further ahead with Hugo denied by a good save and Jacob & Kareem going close. We were well on top in midfield with Jacob, Max & Freddie working really hard to win back possession throughout the half.
We knew the second half would be tougher as Dungarvan had the aid of the breeze. Despite this we had the first chance of half with Kareem breaking away and firing just wide. Dungarvan began to create a couple of chances but our defence of Ethan, Maksym, Rhys & Aidan were defending brilliantly. Dungarvan did grab a goal back on 40 minutes when they followed in a shot from inside the box. We introduced Kayden & Artem to give us fresh legs in midfield. Dungarvan were now starting to push players forward and we probably sat off them a little too much. Ben produced a world class save on 45 minutes when he dived full length to tip a strike onto the post. Dungarvan however got a second on 50 minutes from a long range free kick which sailed over Ben’s head. We defended brilliantly in last 10 minutes with Rhys and Maksym clearing countless balls into the box. However Dungarvan grabbed the equaliser in the last minute when we didnt deal with a long ball over the top.
Into extra time we went and we were slow to get going. Dungarvan took the lead midway through the first period when our defender was adjudged not to have been fouled and Dungarvan went in and scored.
We threw everything at Dungarvan in the second period and had a strong claim for a penalty not given. We thought we had equalised in the last minute but goal was disallowed for a foul on keeper.
Best for Villa were Yago, Maksym & Rhys. This was a game we should have won and will look to take this performance into next season. Thanks to all parents and club members for their support all season.


We are delighted to announce our new partnership with workLAB as they become our Primary sponsor. The agreement will see the company become sponsors of our Premier team, while our ground is also being renamed workLAB Connors Park. Looking forward to a mutually fruitful relationship with workLAB over the next few years.

Photos from VILLA FOOTBALL CLUB's post 22/06/2024

Villa FC U16 girls brought to you by Beautorium Training Academy Waterford
Villa FC 7:0 Waterford Crystal

Villa FC U16 girls were back in action tonight as they took on Waterford Crystal in the quarter-final of the U16 Cup at a sunny Connors Park Astro.

The Villa girls produced a hugely impressive all-round display with goals from
Megan X3
Ada X1
Sam X 1
The girls will face Tramore or Carrick in the cup Semi Finals.

Thanks to Waterford Crystal and referee Tristan for a very sporting game and to all our families, friends and supporters who came out to cheer us on.


Primary Sponsor : Kilbarry SuperValu, Tramore Road.
Team Sponsor : Activate Waterford
Competition: 14A Cup
Venue: Villa Astro
Opposition: Ferrybank

Villa 2 - 1 Ferrybank
⚽ Dara O’Brien
⚽ Noah O’Keefe

With our last game of the season more than a month ago we now looked forward to a good cup run.
With a late kick off and many watching on from the sidelines, the prize a Semi Final meet with our rivals across the road.

We started with intent and managed to pe*****te Ferrybank defence early and but failed to test the goalkepper.
Villa continued to press high and force the issue. Maybe a little too keen at times which left gaps down the middle.
Ferrybank also keen to get on the score sheet early pushed forward and forced a few corners.
From one of those corners we failed to clear at the front post the ball broke free in the six yard box and Ferrybank dispatched with a tap in.
Keeping our heads we continued to keep the ball and switch play as often as we could. Villa looked the fitter team and kept pressing inside the Ferrybank half for the remainder of the half.
With five minites to half time we won a free kick on the left hand side. With a quick lay off Freddie, Harry was through down the left he swung the ball in with pace and Dara O’Brien met with precision to head into the goal. A well deserved goal after all the pressure.

Half time
Villa 1 -1 Ferrybank

Second half started the same with Villa controlling the game and being patient with the ball and keeping possession.
Midfield worked extremely hard to win headers, 50/50 challenges and breaking balls, credit to them. In return gaps started to open. Many chances were driven wide and also that last pass seemed to evade us.
Finally a sequence of one touch passes from midfield stretched Ferrybanks defence which resulted in an awkward ball falling to Noah, he managed to contort himself in to a position and hit on the half volley to put us into the lead.
The rest of the match was played mostly in Ferrybanks half. A few nervous breakaways from the visitors but our defence held strong and worked hard until the final whistle.

This was a well deserved win and a brilliant team performance. Great determination to come back and win after conceding early on.
We now relish the Semi Final against league winners Bohs in the RSC.

Thanks to all the parents/guardians and the Villa community that turned up to support these lads.


Reminder that we are hosting the Official Opening of our Astroturf Pitch tomorrow at 12.00 The pitch will be opened by Mr.Paul Cooke the President of the F.A.I.

All past and present members and families are invited to this event.


U15A Cup
Sponsored by: Kilbarry SuperValu

Villa 2-0 Carrick
We hosted Carrick today I the cup semi final. We started well and could have took the lead through a few attempts from Daniel Doyle and Jamie Swift and Ezra Iwere. We finally took the lead through a high press from Jake Holohan where he dispossessed the Carrick defender and provided a great cross into Luxson who finished an unstoppable first time finish.

We kept the pressure up in the second half and were rewarded a deserved second where Jamie played a great ball to Liam O'Grady who kept up his recent goal scoring streak with another goal from outside the box. We saw out the rest of the match with good play from Aaron Doran, Jack Doheny and Joel Osawe and Anderson Dube. We look in control defensively with a great solid performance from Louis Corcoran, Rafi, Liam and Daniel who nearly came close to scoring towards the end with a bullet header.

Great squad performance tonight with some great impact from Kareem, Hugo, Hashim and Luxson from the bench. We look forward to a cup final against Tramore. Thanks for everyone for support tonight


U'12A Boys Cup:
Primary Sponsor: Kilbarry SuperValu
Training Gear Sponsors: Sean Ormonde & Co., Solicitors , Joe's Barbers , HSS Hire and Stryker Cork

Villa 2-0 Bohemians

Neighbours Bohemians were the visitors to the Villa astro for the first round of this season’s cup competition tonight. Playing against the breeze we had an early chance after 5 minutes when Kayden English’s shot went the wrong side of the post after good build up play from Kyle Lonergan, Tom Hearne and Ethan Szeflinski in midfield. The visitors had the next good chance on 10 minutes when a good effort from distance was well saved by keeper Ferdia Cooke. Defenders Adam Sielanczyk, Cuinn Carroll and Erik Moldovan had to be at their best as Bohs were playing good fast counter attacking football and were starting to ask questions of us. Kayden then broke down their right but his early delivery was intercepted by their keeper before striker Conor Mc’Loughlin could get to it. Scoreless at half time.

Ollie Hughes, Harry Jackman and Kajtek Splawski were all introduced for the second half and we changed formation to suit playing with the aid of the strong breeze. Bohs had an early corner that was flicked just over the bar from a good position. We then broke quickly from their next attack and Conor covered good ground before playing Kayden through as he held off the recovering defender to finish from close range. Another Bohs corner on 35 minutes was cleared by Cuinn into the path of Conor and he flicked it over the centre back before striking superbly to the bottom right corner to put us two up. A super strike on 45 minutes from Kayden brought the best out of their keeper as he produced an excellent save down low at his post. We had a let off on 50 minutes when a free kick from distance was pushed away by Kajtek but the follow up rebound from their midfielder when just over. Harry, Ollie, Cuinn and Erik had to dig in for the remaining minutes to see us in the quarter final, where we will face a tough away trip to Carrick Utd. Thanks to Bohs for a very good game tonight. Thanks also to the parents, family members and club members for your support; it is always appreciated by the boys.


U12 D Cup
Villa 4-0 Ferrybank

We faced Ferrybank at home today in the cup opener today.
With a tough close game the last time the sides met ending in a 2-2 draw we knew we would be in for a battle.

We started with 100% commitment and energy from the start and we took the lead inside 5 minutes with a lovely near finish from Alfie O Brien.
Cillian Sinnott doubled the lead shortly after with some lovely sustained pressure by the boys gave us a bit more daylight going into half time.

Second half saw an even game from start to finish with Razvan Dinea getting his much deserved first goal of the season for us with a lovely finish from a corner.
A super penalty save from Ollie Fitzgerald saw us keep the clean sheet and 10 minutes before the end saw the last of the scoring with a lovely free kick by James English find the net.

Thanks to all the parents for there support and a big pat on the back for all players involved for there flgrest effort👏👏
We will go again Thursday 💪


U'12A Boys League:
Primary Sponsor: Kilbarry SuperValu
Training Gear Sponsors: Sean Ormonde & Co., Solicitors, Joe's Barbers , HSS Hire and Stryker Cork

Villa 2-1 Southend Utd
We welcomed the league leaders to Connor’s Park tonight knowing that anything other than a win for us would see them crowned league champions. We started well and created our first chance on 6 minutes when a cross from Filippo Annecchiarico was laid back by his brother Giovanni to Kayden English but his left footed effort went just past the post. We had 3 corners in a row on 20 minutes but all were defended well by the visitors. Southend were dangerous on the counter attack and keeper Kajtek Splawski and his defence of Cuinn Carroll, Adam Sielanczyk and Erik Moldovan had to be on their toes at all times. Both our central midfield players Kayden and Ethan Szeflinski were working their socks off both in attack and defence. Gio had two headed efforts just before half time after good work down the left by Conor Mc’Loughlin but both went either side of the uprights.

The visitors had the first effort of the second half when good linkup play down the left resulted in a shot that went just wide of the far post. A superb corner from the left by substitute Alan Maryniak in the 35th minute saw Adam rise highest and plant his header in the bottom left corner to give us the lead. A piece of individual brilliance from Kayden English on 45 minutes put us 2-0 ahead. Kayden picked up a clearance and went on a run that beat a couple of defenders before he smashed the ball into the far left corner for a brilliant goal. We had another good chance when a cross from the left by Conor was headed at the back post by Alan but their keeper saved well. Southend pulled a goal back minutes later when we failed to pick up their striker and when his pass found a player in space his shot took a deflection that completely deceived Kajtek in the goal. The game was in the melting pot now and Southed pushed forward in numbers. We introduced Kyle Lonergan and changed our formation to stem the tide. A though ball on 50 minutes split our defence and just when it looked like their striker was about to pull the trigger Cuinn came from nowhere for a last gasp tackle to prevent the shot and clear the ball for a corner. We defended well for the remaining minutes to secure a great hard fought win. Well done to both teams who served up some excellent football on the night and to the referee who had a good game also. Thanks as always to the parents, family members and club members for their wonderful support.

Photos from VILLA FOOTBALL CLUB's post 17/06/2024

Brilliant day yesterday at the Frank O’Byrne tournament, with over 300 academy kids from Villa, Tramore & Park Rangers. Well done to all who participated and attended, many thanks to all the volunteers involved in the running of the tournament, in particular Conor McDonald who put Trojan work in. Thanks also to Tramore & Park Rangers for coming in and full credit to the kids from all the teams for the tremendous skills on display!


U13A League
Sponsored by Supervalu
Villa 1-2 Dungarvan
We hosted Dungarvan last Saturday morning. Playing just our second game since the beginning of March we knew it would a tough game against a side needing 3 points to win the league. We started really well with our front 3 of Yago, Hugo & Kareem pressing high. Max, Jacob & Freddie were getting on top in midfield. Hugo’s pace was a constant threat and he almost gave us the lead on 10 minutes but his shot just cleared the crossbar. He did get his deserved goal soon after with a great move which began from throw in with Jacob, Freddie and Max all linking up well before Jacob played a great ball through for Hugo to find the bottom corner. Our back four of Kayden, Maksym, Rhys & Aidan limited Dungarvan to long range strikes which were well held by Ben on goal. We could of gone further ahead with Kareem, Jacob & Hugo all going close.
We introduced Artem at half time and looked to get a second goal. Dungarvan came out fired up in second half however and equalised on 40 minutes when their centre half buried a header into the top corner . The game was now end to end with both sides in search of the winner. Unfortunately for us we found the Dungarvan keeper in top form with some great saves to keep his team level. Dungarvan did get the winner with about 5 minutes to play when a shot deflected into the path of their centre forward to finish from close range.
Great performance today from all squad where we deserved to take something from the game. Best for Villa was Hugo. Congratulations to Dungarvan on winning the league.

Photos from VILLA FOOTBALL CLUB's post 15/06/2024

Clover Tournament 2024

A brilliant day of football in Ferrybank, saw Villa come out on top of the 28 participating teams to claim the prestigious Clover Under 9 Tournament. All 4 of our teams acquitted themselves very well, with 3 of the sides topping their groups. In the quarter final our A side overcame our talented young Villa D team, progressing to meet Villa B in the semi final. The B team performed brilliantly throughout and gave a good account in the semi final before succumbing to the in form Villa A side. This set up a Villa v Tramore final and both sides impressed with the skills on display. A goal by Caelan Lambe gave us a half time lead, Cian Hartery put us 2 up early in the second half, before Mikey Coffey rounded off a great team move following a super cross from Cian Bourke. A super display from all involved and well done also to captain Cian Hartery who was selected as Player of the Tournament.

Thanks to all involved in the organisation and running of the tournament, in particular Mick Mullowney who puts so much effort into it every year.


16C Cup Final

Villa 3 - De La Salle 3 after ET

DLS won on penalties

A brilliant game with two very different styles took place in Graun Park tonight. We contained an excellent side and took a deserved lead through Douglas Golles. Our game plan was working and we ended the first half at 1 - 0. DLS changed their approach in the second half and we struggled to get to grips with it. Nevertheless we took a 2 nil lead through Simon Kucharski. DLS took control and went more direct and deserved the 2 goals they got to make it 2-2. The game ended at that. Extra time we dug in and got ourselves ahead again from a corner, that Bobby Swift headed in nicely. DLS showed why they won our league and struck back to make it 3 all. We came up short on penalties. Fair play to DLS. Very respectful lads, very nice lads coaching them. Congratulations to them on winning the double. As for our lads and the support from the parents Robbie and myself couldn't ask for more from them. The last good few years we've been together have been a pleasure to coach these lads. They've all grown up a lot with each other and we wish them all the best in the future. They're will be a few changes next season, so we'll be in touch over the summer with what's happening. For now thanks again and lads enjoy the break after the exams and a long season.


Best of luck to our Under 16C squad who take on De La Salle A in their Cup Final in Tramore tonight. Kick off is 8.30pm, be great to get as much support as possible out for the lads


Save the Dates
As we come to the end of another fantastic season for all involved we have 3 very important events happening over the next couple of months.
First up is the Officail Opening of the Astroturf Pitch on Saturday week the 22nd June at 12.00 noon by Mr.Paul Cooke the President of the F.A.I. all past and Present members are invited to this event.
We then move into July where the Club will hold the A.G.M. in the Clubhouse on Thursday the 18th July at 8.00p.m.we ask that all Junior me.bers attend this.
The Final date for your diary is the celebration of this season in the Woodlands Hotel on Friday the 23rd of August at 7.00p.m. where we will present our Player of the Year awards for Academy,Schoolboy,Girl Ladies and Junior Teams.


Irish captain Seamus Coleman wishing everyone participating in the Frank O’Byrne Tournament this Sunday good luck. Thanks Seamus!

SFAI TV - YouTube 12/06/2024

Kennedy Cup update:

2 Great games over the last two days in the Kennedy Cup… A 2-2 draw Monday night v South Tipp and a 1-0 win last night v Kerry.
We had great representation across both nights with Alfie, Alex, Harry and Joel all playing their parts in the games. With these results it means the lads have topped their group and they will play in the Cup stage of the competition. Where they have been drawn against South Belfast which will be on pitch 1 at 2pm.
🟢⚪️🟢⚪️ -sheet

Link to watch games above

SFAI TV - YouTube This is the official Schoolboys and Girls Football Association of Ireland YouTube channel.


U’12A Boys League:
Primary Sponsor: Kilbarry SuperValu
Training Gear Sponsors, Sean Ormonde & Co., Solicitors Joe's Barbers, HSS Hire and Stryker Cork

Villa 5-0 Ferrybank

We faced Ferrybank for the first time this season in what was a potential banana skin but a top performance saw us take all 3 points. We started the game on the front foot and took the lead on 7 minutes with Giovanni Annechiarico playing a delightful ball through to Conor Mc’Loughlin who made no mistake to slot the ball home. We really started to hit our stride with Kayden English and Conor going close on numerous occasions. Ferrybank looked dangerous on the break and our defence of Cuinn Carroll and Harry Jackman defended superbly with Tom Hearne sitting in front and giving us a great platform to attack. Eric Moldovan and Alan Maryniak playing in slightly different roles to what they are used to were terrific with their work rate and giving us width in possession. Conor got his second on 22 minutes when a Kajtek Splawski goal kick flicked on by Gio deceived the Ferrybank defence and Conor was quickest to react to score.

We introduced 3 substitutes at the half time break and continued to ask questions of the Ferrybank defence. The all important third goal arrived on 38 mins when Alan and Gio combined with a one-two and Alan slotting home to the corner of the net in what was the highlight of the game. The boys confidence really started to grow and some of the football was a delight to watch. Kayden and Gio both tried their luck but came up against a very good Ferrybank keeper who pulled off some top saves second half. Kyle Lonergan added great energy to our midfield and also had a chance to increase our lead blocked down by the Ferrybank defence. Adam Sielanczyk, Filippo Annechiarico and Ferdia Cooke showed great composure on the ball throughout the second half and it was Filippo who set up Conor with a defence splitting ball and Conor made no mistake with the finish. Conor added a fourth late on with his pace causing havoc throughout the game.

A terrific all round performance by the boys tonight with all 13 players showing what the group are capable of. It was a joy to watch some of the football on show and the headlines go to Conor on the 4 goals and also Gio on 4 assists. Fair play to Ferrybank who never gave up in what was a tough night. Well done to both teams tonight and we regroup for Thursday night’s game at home to Piltown. Thanks to all parents, family members and club members for your support and the referee who let the game flow. Special mention to Decky also on having the pitch in pristine condition at this stage of the season🟢⚪️


Best of luck from all at the Club to our Under 14 players Harry Hennessy, Alfie Ryan, Alex Deevy, Joel Osare and the Waterford Schoolboy League squad, who are off to Limerick this week to take part in the prestigious Kennedy Cup competition. Big week for all, enjoy it lads.


Very sad news in the last couple of days with the passing of Eleanor Marsh, wife of our former player Kevin and mother to Alan and Eric who also played for the club for many years. Sincere condolences to the Marsh family from all at Villa FC. RIP


U11H Cup Semi Final

*Stradbally* 2
*Villa* 2

⚽️ Hope Dikgale
⚽️ Harry Fitzpatrick

[Villa win 5 - 3 on penalties]

Villa G faced a tough semi-final against the league winners away in Stradbally this morning.

The team were well prepared and started positively with Harry Fitzpatrick shooting just wide from an acute angle.

Villa were aware that they lost their last league game, a decisive match against Stradbally with two late goals, but Villa's defence were solid throughout the game.

Steadbally caused danger down their left on numerous occasions but Aidan Gallagher mopped up continually with Filip Cymnowski and Niall Dunphy being excellent in covering back and aiding the defence when needed.

Chances were at premium with both teams very equal, apart from Jake Peterson's good near post shot missing the target.

Villa G had practiced starting play from goal kicks and their efforts soon paid off. Ewan Power played a lovely ball to meet Cein Bailey's excellent forward run from defence. After breaking the lines, the ball fell to Hope Dikgale who had it all to do after collecting the ball at the half way line. Unfazed, Hope burst forward and with the goal and his mercy, he clinically finished to much delight. 1-0 and an excellent goal.

Now a goal up, Villa G retreated too much with Stradbally beginning to develop ongoing pressure on the goal. No clear-cut chances were made with Villa being very organised at the back. However, organised they were not, when Stradbally got one on one with Ewan from a throw in with their striker finishing beautifully. 1-1 and equal at halftime.

The second half was a tight affair with seldom chances of note. Both teams were dangerous from corners kicks with Villa being dangerous on the break.

Such a break would lead to the next goal from Harry Fitzpatrick. After taking the ball in his stride he pushed in on goal down the left channel. Despite being far from goal he whipped a shot of real menace towards goalwards which beautifully curled into the roof of the net. It was another excellent goal for Villa.

With the clock running down Villa held on and looked safe for the win. Niall Dunphy dominated at the back but was well assisted by David Okojie, Aaron O'Brien and Jace Keating with the latter making a crucial tackle which surely saved a goal.

The game edged towards the last minute when a hop-ball was given close to the Villa penalty box. For unexplainable reasons this resulted in the Stradbally player being granted a free shot on goal, which after a deflection, lead to the equaliser. This was a real set back for Villa with the match going into extra time.

Despite the perceived injustice felt by the players they rallied in extra time and were the better team. No break through was possible however and, like last week, the game was set for penalties.

Villa were first up and Harry kept his nerve and finished with ease. Ewan, the hero last week, showed last week was no fluke by saving Stradbally's first penalty.

Villa now had their chance to claim a place in the final provided they could put away their penalties. Jake, Jayden and Filip all strolled up and made no mistake with Jayden almost putting a hole in the net with his shot! Last kick was for Niall, the captain, on the day, who fittingly put the ball into the back of the net to fire Villa into the final.

It was another brilliant game and the team were excellent.

Well done to all the players who showed great team spirit today and thanks to the many parents who made the trip and made a big difference.

Hats off to the penalty takers who now have scored 9 out of 9 in the last two weeks.

Our Club

Villa FC was founded in 1953 by Shamie Martin and a number of his pals and contemporaries from the ‘Top of the Town’ area of Waterford. The early meetings of the club took place early in 1953 and along with Shamie, nine other young men became the founding fathers of the Villa: Frank O Byrne, Frank O’Farrell, Eddie Wall, Nicky Power, Sid Rellis, Michael Kiely, Billy Howlett, Eddie Wymberry and Eddie Smith. The main catchment area for the club would be the boys of Griffith Place, Sexton Street, Leamy Streetdown to the Morrison’s Road area of the town.

It was a difficult task for a group of young men to organise a new club with no money and no gear or equipment. But persist they certainly did and before long the club was up and running. The first appearance of a team under the Villa banner was in a 5 a side tournament in July 1953 and in September of that year two teams were entered in the under 14 & under 15 schoolboy leagues. The first ever league game of the club took place in September 1953 against Bolton, resulting in a 3-1 victory. The first side to represent the club is recorded as being Liam Burke, Hubert Sauvage, Frank O’Byrne, Monchie Kiely, Tom O’Connor, Teddy O’Byrne, Nicky Power, Noel Hodges, Sid Rellis, Dick Quinn and Eddie Wymberry.

Amusing anecdotes abound from this innocent era, including solving the dilemma of getting a team of 15 year olds with no means of transport to an away fixture in Kilmacthomas. The quick thinking young lads soon overcame this barrier, with the entire team hitching a lift to Kilmac in the back of Sonny Kirwan’s lorry – what a sight that must have been!

Both sides performed creditably in their first season without winning anything (the Under 15s made the area final of the Evans Cup where they lost out to Hibs). The club didn’t have to wait long for its first taste of success, which came a year later when the under 14 side won their league. This would lead to a bigger influx of players and by the late fifties Villa had added an under 16 and Youth side and began to dominate underage football in the town. In the 56/57 season all three underage schoolboy sides won their respective divisions, with the Under 16 side also winning the Hartery Cup. The Under 15’s reached the last four of the Evans Cup (the country’s most prestigious schoolboy tournament) where they lost out to 3-2 to Tramore Celtic of Cork in Flower Lodge after extra time, with Joe Murray and Noel Burke scoring for Villa.

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