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PARK ORIENT FC hosted a six team preseason tournament on the 15 Acres on Sunday as part of the club’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

By Eamon Scott

 It was the perfect way to kick-off the 2019 2020 season build-up with all teams provided with a welcome workout as the summer cobwebs were dusted down with some excellent action on view to the many supporters and passers by who stopped to view the action.

 It was Dublin Dynamo who eventually reigned supreme but not before some brilliant football from the six contestants with North East Football League side Athboy Celtic joining the hosts, Cabra Celtic, Dingle United and Alpine Oldchurch  at the famous Phoenix Park venue. 

The O’Neill’s Leinster Football League match officials provided their services free and all funds raised on the day went towards a Go Fund Me project for Padge Kelly who passed away on Thursday 30th May, but in whose memory a ‘cough assist’ unit is being purchased for Tallaght Hospital. 

 Thirty-two year old Kelly, who suffered from Motor Neurone disease,  died five weeks ago and the Kelly family started a Go Fund me page to raise €5600 to purchase the unit. It was launched just after Padge passed away and Sunday’s Park Orient pre-season tournament has helped reach the goal and the family were represented by Padge’s sister Grace  and other family members on the 15 Acres. 

Padge and current joint manager of Park Orient Brian Kavanagh were team mates at Oldchurch United and the club were honoured to be able to assist in the Go Fun Me drive. Olivia Blanch organised the Go Fund Me page and you can still contribute to the fund by logging on to  Go Fund Me and searching for ‘Padge Kelly Cough Assist'”

Padge Kelly: passed away at the end of May and sadly missed by family and friends

I knew Padge a longtime and he was a great guy and we all miss him but we’ve had great support with this initiative and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the tournament this weekend,” said organiser Brian Kavanagh. 

 Added the Park Orient official who manager the team along with Frank McFeely: “I’m very grateful to Patsy Browne of the Leinster Football League who marked the pitches and to league president Tony O’Dowd and treasurer Dave Hearst who were in attendance at the event.”

“I’d also like to thank all the players and management of the teams who participated too. Without their input we would not of been able to reach our total and all the club’s were extremely supportive so on behalf of  Park Orient FC, a big and most sincere debt of gratitude is due to each and every club.

“We made lots of friends and thank you to each and every player for their involvement in what proved to be a competitive and exciting tournament.”Park Orient chairman Mick McAuley also attended the event as did a sizeable attendance which were helped by the presence of a tuck shop which was manned by Anita Kavanagh and Noleen McFeely.

A big shout out to Manhattan who provided much appreciated product for the shop on the day. Park Orient FC have been members of the league for the past six decades and O’Neill’s Leinster Football League President Tony O’Dowd paid tribute to the club for their benevolence in putting on the event but also for their loyalty over so many years to the LFL. 

“Brian Kavanagh and his committee have put on a wonderful spectacle here today and they are to be congratulated.  Park Orient FC have been brilliant ambassadors for the league for so long and it’s typical of the club that they would take on an event like this. They have been great servants and their loyalty and friendship is greatly valued by the Leinster Football League. They are a very well run club and we are fortunate to have them as members of the league and we congratulate them of their sixtieth anniversary.” 

 Added O’Dowd: “We have seen some brilliant football here today and if this is the standard  we can look forward to this season, we are in or an excellent season in the Leinster Football League”

Dublin Dynamo defeated Alpine Oldchurch 2-1 in the decider to claim the title. One novel incident in the final was Group A involving Dublin Dynamo, Park Orient and Athboy Celtic all finishing level on points and goal difference in their group which necessitated a remarkable three way penalty shootout with Dynamo emerging victorious.

The Leinster Football League has slots available for any teams who would like to join the league with the LFL able to provide lined pitches, nets along with dressing rooms at the 15 Acres facility. If you are a new club and a Turn Up and Play offer would suit your requirements, please contact Tony O’Dowd on 087 9224322.

Park Orient are back in preseason training and the club would love to attract in some new talent. If you would like to join a club with a rich history and a very well run structure, contact Brian Kavanagh at 086 8822 513  

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Eamon Scott


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Eamon Scott