A team made up of players from clubs from Brittany (France) participated in the 2018 edition of Feile Peile na nÔg (“youth football festival”), the most important competition dedicated to young players aged 14 and under! This year, 288 teams from around the world played nearly 700 matches over three days in the counties of Down, Louth and Meath in Ireland from June 29th-July 1st. Never before had a French team won a match against their Irish cousins and not only that but they went on achieve victory and take home the prestigious Shield trophy!
The young Bretons were welcomed by a local club, Longwood, located in the county of Meath. After winning their first pool match, then losing to their hosts in an emotional second game, the Bretons defeated another Irish team to qualify for the Shield competition which they won by stroming through the quarter finals, semi finals and the final!
Beyond this sporting success, a real friendship was forged between the Longwood club and the Breton selection! The young people from both groups met every day for meals generously organised by local families who also accommodated their guests with extraordinary kindness. The emotional highlight of the weekend was reached when the Bretons won the final passionately cheered on by their young Irish friends who continuously chanted the Bretons team’s slogan. Vivid memories will remain forever etched in the minds of both youth teams and their companions as well as the host families and Longwood club members.
This exciting project was conceived during a training session in December 2017. Local youth officers within Brittany then expressed the wish to create a team made up of young people from different Breton clubs. Many actors made huge investments in bringing this collaborative project to fruition. Their efforts, the dedication of the young Bretons and their coaches, supported by families, friends and sponsors combined to create this historic sporting success and exceptional human adventure!