The 13th Annual Linfield Academy Awards Presentation Evening took place at the Crowne Plaza, Shaw's Bridge on Saturday night.
It was an excellent and enjoyable event, very well organised by the Academy administrators, the Academy committee and Academy director Glenn Ferguson and Academy chairman Irvine Woods.
With backing graphics by Michael Foster, many of the highlights of the Academy year were celebrated with the assembled gathering, as the various trophies and medals were presented to all the winners.
Over 320 people were in attendance to celebrate the success of the Academy's season. It was so pleasing to see so many of the clubs young players and their parents in attendance and of course, the hope is that many of these young players will go on and develop into first team stars of the future.
A coach from each of the various Academy squads gave a brief resume on their team's progress in the past year and their players were then brought to the stage to receive their awards and receive the applause of the large gathering.
Academy graduates Jack Chambers (WBA) and Lewis Houston were in attendance at the event to present several of the awards and they can only serve as role models and inspiration to the younger players that they go on and achieve their potential in football and hopefully with Linfield.
Also in attendance was Linfield team attendant Andy Kerr MBE who 2 years ago celebrated his 50th season working in the Linfield first team backroom staff. Andy in recent seasons has become an ever present with Academy squads at home and on their various trips further afield.
In attendance were Linfield manager David Healy and his coaches Ross Oliver and Darren Murphy and chief scout Willie McKeown.
The following Linfield directors attended the event - Chairman Roy McGivern, Irvine Woods, Paul Weir, Ronnie Morrison and Andy Conn, along with former chairman Jim Kerr
Linfield chairman Roy McGivern presented the James Elliott trophy in honour of and named after the young Academy player from Stranocum in County Antrim who so sadly lost his life in a tragic accident nearly 9 years ago. The trophy was awarded to the Academy graduate Lewis Houston who battled back from serious injury to score the winner for Linfield Swifts in his comeback game against Cliftonville Olympic.
A new trophy - The Frankie Taylor Memorial Trophy was presented by the Linfield Academy for the first time 3 years ago. Frankie Taylor will always be associated with the Association of LSCs who presented the new trophy to the Academy in honour of and by way of tribute to the greatly missed former Linfield director who so sadly passed away on February 26 four years ago. The trophy was presented by Academy Chairman Irvine Woods to the Academy under 16s squad.
A huge well done to the following coaches for their hard work, dedication, commitment and loyalty over the past season(s).
Under 9s - Craig Hirth, Gary McKee, Jamie Taylor and Peter Hirth
Under 10s - Michael Davidson, Kyle Dawson, Robin Nelson and Adam Wallace
Under 11s - Darren Devlin, Jamie Gibson and Darren Dempster
Under 12s - Jonathan Savage and Jonathan Ireland
Under 13s - Scott Boyd, Rodney Heasley, Nigel Beatty and Andy Kerr MBE
Under 14s - Phil Brown, David Downes and Colin Smyth
Under 15s - Colin McIlwrath, Darren McKinley, Neil McCrum and Joshua McCrum
Under 16s - Gary Jackson, Glynn Miskimmin, Peter Houston and Willie Lee
Administration - Colin Ireland, Michael Foster and Ricky McIntyre
Scouts - Ricky McIntyre and Colin Ireland
Academy Chairman - Irvine Woods
The hotel provided a superb meal that was enjoyed by everyone in attendance and it was an absolute privilege and honour to be in attendance at such a well-run event to celebrate the successes of so many of our youth teams and their players over the past year.
Hoping that the boys, their parents and their coaches will enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable summer break and they will return in the new season refreshed and 'raring to go' to try and bring further success and honour to the club in the forthcoming season.
Audaces Fortuna Juvat
Above - Roy McGivern with James Elliott trophy winner Lewis Houston
More to follow