New Academy Facebook page HERE
The new season is almost here with the Lisburn Junior Invitational League kicking off on Saturday 6th September. The Wee Whites will have a 9-a-side team playing at Under 11 this season and also full teams at Under 13, 14,15,16 and 17.
In addition we have our new under 8s team joining our under 9s and Under 10s in the IFA Grassroots Development Programme. It’s been a busy summer for all concerned!
We will be confirming training details and opening fixtures over the next few days.
Lisburn Distillery U16s
The new look u16s have been busy over the last few weeks and firstly I have to welcome on board new coach Jim and the new players coming into the side, We have had 3 very good preseason games in which we played Glenavon, Bangor national league B sides and lately Glentoran national league A side. In all three games the u16s matched and took their game to all of these sides and have really shown we can match any team now. We have progressed in fitness, playing good football with great team spirit both on and of the pitch. Training is progressing well and the team are getting to know each other, so with 2 more games coming up v Barn United and Dc before are season starts in Sept, I just want to say to the lads keep up the good work in training and match days and listen to your instructions and hopefully we can develop even further this season. Come on the wee Whites.
U13s looking for new players
Are you bored with your current club?
Would you like to learn new drills and make new friends?
Come along to Lisburn Distillery and train with a professional team of coaches and we will take you to the next level of developement
“Your talent determines what you do
Your motivation determines what you are willing to do
Your attitude determines how well you do it”
Contact Colin Scott 07791486407
Distillery U-11s latest pre-season friendly was a match up with old foes St. Oliver Plunkett. It’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen when the two sides meet as no pattern has ever emerged with first the whites getting a good result only for the next encounter seeing the West Belfast boys gaining the upper hand. Saturday saw the latter scenario with Plunkett playing some excellent football and pretty much dominating from start to finish. The first half saw the whites concede a few goals without really threatening their opponent’s goal. The second half was slightly better when the boys at last started to show a bit of urgency, create a few chances and get a goal back through the hard working Jack Bonar. A day to forget for the U-11s when not even the excuse of having to deal with off-sides for the first time or a few missing players can be used as an excuse, their application will have to much better this week where they find themselves in a difficult group at the annual Mallusk Tournament.
Three Stooges report
They were proclaimed as "Three Stooges" but ended up as three somewhat tired but successful, delighted, Lisburn Distillery Academy committee members and Whites' supporters who successfully completed a 20 mile sponsored walk on Saturday on behalf of Lisburn Mayor's nominated charity, Marie Curie Cancer Care, and the club's academy.
Reflecting on the journey, Simon Wragg said; “The first highlight was hitting DC (Donegal Celtic) where we were made very welcome and Paul McAreavey made us a cup of tea which was nice. The general highlight was hitting the ground here and being welcomed by the Mayor, club officials and supporters. We were stopped on the way by people who were asking what we were doing the walk for and giving us cash donations which were appreciated. It was a challenge, something totally different, something new, raising money for the Mayors' charity and some money for the academy too to buy training gear and new balls and stuff."
David Irwin added; "I enjoyed everything about it apart from walking downhill at Suffolk Road - walking with the other two was really enjoyable and we kept each other going. It was good meeting up with the people at DC and whilst it was a relief reaching McIlroy Park other than that it was okay."
But it was David's father, Ged, who had the last say on a memorable and successful event. When asked about his highlight he answered; "The amount of money we raised; we set ourselves a target of £1000 and we will exceed that so we are absolutely delighted. The old boy found it easy so he did; they had to keep up with me! I could have walked another three or four hours, the only part I found difficult was Shaws Road and the Glen Road where we had to go up hills but apart from that it was a Saturday morning stroll!"
U-11s Begin the new Season
Saturday saw Lisburn Distillery U-11s begin their preparation for their maiden season in the Lisburn League with a friendly game at Belvoir with Taughmona. The Whites showed a little rustiness early on as their opponents started strongly but soon played themselves into the game and deservedly got a goal when Conall Cunningham drove at the Taughmona defence before playing a clever ball to Kenzie Bradley, Kenzies first time pass found Jack Bonar who cut in from the left and fired a right foot shot low into the bottom corner. Conall was having plenty of joy on the left wing indeed the whole left side of the team looked strong with Bradley White also having a good game at left back. Calum Ashby had to be replaced by James Clyde after a heavy challenge but the rhythm of the team wasn’t upset as James was neat and tidy in all aspects of his game. Taughmona started to push forward but time and again were thwarted by the excellent Ben Gilliland whose game as came on leaps and bounds in recent months. The South Belfast boys got a deserved equaliser just before the break and were also unlucky with a towering header from a corner. The second half was very stop start with both sides making a few changes but the whites got a second when Noah Kelly poked the ball home from close range after some good build up play from Spencer Maxwell. Taughmona came back again and got another goal before the moment of the match arrived courtesy of Whites keeper Xander Power who made an absolutely astounding point blank save from the opposition forward, the save really had to be seen to be believed how Xander managed to get to the ball never mind show the strength to get it up and over the bar No one knows- think Jerzy Dudek against Schevchenko in Istanbul. A bit of a mixed bag from the boys today but for the first game back there were enough positives to hope that there is more to come as they embark on their first season of nine aside.
Match photos HERE
Sierra Leone Academy team captain presents Lisburn Mayor Andrew Ewing with a momento to mark the occasion of their visit to Lisburn ahead of their game at New Grosvenor tonight
Visit from Sierra Leone (Craig Bellamy Foundation)
Fun day photos HERE
Three Stooges Charity Walk
3 members of the Lisburn Distillery Academy Committee (Simon Wragg, Ged Irwin and David Irwin) have decided to do a sponsored walk on behalf of the Academy and the Lisburn Mayors charity Marie Curie on 09-08-14.
Their plan is to walk to all Championship 1 grounds in the Greater Belfast area, starting at Breda Park(Knockbreda). They will then walk to Tillysburn Park(Harland and Wolff) and then onto Wilgar Park(Dundela).
After that they will head across Belfast to Donegal Celtic Park(Donegal Celtic) and then onto Newforge Lane(PSNI) and finally back to New Grosvenor(Lisburn Distillery) hopefully in time to see the kick off of the first game of the season against Knockbreda.
This walk will take in a massive 20 miles so expect some sore feet on Sunday morning!
The target to raise is £1000 and with over £700 of pledges raised so far they are well on the way to meeting it
If you would like to support the guys you can do so by either speaking to any of them individually or indeed you can do so online by visiting their Just giving page that can be accessed at
We extend our best wishes to Lisburn Distillery’s Reece Kane ahead of next week’s Milk Cup. Reece, who has recently returned from a second extended trial at Dundee United FC, has been selected for the County Down Premier Squad. County Down will kick-off their campaign with a game against County Antrim on Monday before playing Partick Thistle on Tuesday and the CBF (Craig Bellamy Foundation) from Sierra Leone on Wednesday, with the CBF Squad later heading to Ballyskeagh on Monday 4th August to play an LDFC Academy XI.
Reece was also in goal for the Whites on Tuesday evening’s friendly victory over East Belfast FC and last weekend against Barn United.
Good luck Reece!
You Better Get This Party Started
At our recent registration day Academy Chairman Ged Irwin announced plans to start a ‘Social Committee’ to organise events for academy players, family and friends.
The events will be separate from fundraising such as our annual sponsored walk and
for end of season trips. It’s an opportunity for those who meet regularly on training nights or along the sidelines on a Saturday morning to enjoy each other’s company away from football and have some fun. We have a fantastic social club at our ground to hold events:
It could be a quiz, an 80’s Disco, A Halloween Ball, Bingo, A Tribute Act……Everyone will have their own ideas!
If you’d be interested in helping out in anyway send us a message on our Facebook Page, contact us through the website or speak to a committee member.
Lisburn Distillery Academy will hold a Child Protection and Player Welfare Course for all staff in September at Ballyskeagh (Date TBC) in conjunction with the Irish Football Association.
LDFC Director Ashley Wragg has highlighted that “The training in September will be the third course we have ran since we formed the Academy. It’s best practice to hold it every three years which just goes to show how time flies from when we started off with only a couple of teams. Staff are required to update their CP training every three years and all of our staff (coaching and committee members) also have to complete a POCVA (Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults)
training and a police background check so they can work with young players”
Over a hundred players will take part in the LDFC Mini Soccer Festival on Saturday 2nd August as part of the clubs Family Fun Day & Health Fair. It’s our biggest ever community event and we’ll be releasing more details about everything happening on the day very soon.However we are delighted to confirm that guest teams from Dromara Village FC, Shankill Juniors, Celtic Boys, Andersonstown Celtic, Hillsborough Boys and Glentoran will be taking part in the event along with our very own Wee Whites. Our thanks to Simon Wragg & Academy Chairman Ged Irwin who have both organised the Mini Soccer Festival. There will be tea, coffee, sandwiches and plenty of refreshments on sale from 11am in our own ‘Ballyskeagh Café’ when the action kicks off so players family and friends are more than welcome to come and spend the day with us.
Remember that Sunday 20th July is our annual Registration Day ahead of the 2014/15 season.
All players are required to attend and there will also be an opportunity to order training gear (if needed) with sample sizes and items to try on.
Times are as follows:
11.00am: Under 8s, 9s & 10s
12.15pm: Under 11s, 13s & 14s
1.30pm: Under 15s, 16s, 17s & Youth Team (Under 19s)
Registration Day is a very important part of the summer as we need all players to complete
and update their contact details, medical forms and photo consent forms. Academy Chairman Ged Irwin
will also talk through the Players Charter & Parents Charter for everyone. It’s also a chance to have a chat with committee members
and our coaching staff. There will also be registration taking place for the Lisburn Junior Invitational League & NIBFA.
Please ensure you attend as it is very time consuming chasing up paperwork once the season begins and eats into time we’d like to be organising the fun stuff!
sponsored walk by committe members
3 members of the Lisburn Distillery’s Academy Committee (Simon Wragg, Ged Irwin and David Irwin) are undertaking a mammoth sponsored walk on behalf of the Academy and Mayors Charity, Marie Curie on Saturday 9th August 2014. The 3 members will walk a massive 16 miles across Belfast and finish at New Grosvenor stadium in time for the 1st game of the season. Their task will begin at Breda Park home of Knockbreda and they will walk to Harland and Wolff’s, Tillysburn Park. After a short stop their next port of call will be Dundela’s, Wilgar Park for some more photos. Their penultimate stop on their journey will be to local rivals and close neighbors Donegal Celtic and their ground Donegal Celtic Park. It’s then just a short journey up to New Grosvenor in time to see the kickoff of the 2014/15 season against Knockbreda where the epic walk commenced. We hope you will all support the guys on their quest to help the academy and mayors charity.
More info will follow shortly.
Lisburn Distillery Academy wish to thank Sport Lisburn for supporting our Mini-Soccer Festival which takes place on Saturday 2nd August as part of the club’s Fun Day & Health Fair at New Grosvenor Stadium, Ballyskeagh.
Sport Lisburn have supported the event by awarding a small grant which will mean all players and teams taking part in the festival will receive medals to mark the occasion. Over a hundred players will be involved on the day and a full list of visiting teams will be confirmed soon.
Visit from Sierra Leone (Craig Bellamy Foundation)
Lisburn Distillery is delighted to announce some very special guests from the Craig Bellamy Foundation from Sierra Leone in Western Africa.
An LDFC Academy XI will take on a team from Sierra Leone's only professional football Academy as part of their trip to Northern Ireland for this summer's Milk Cup.
The game takes place at New Grosvenor Stadium, Ballyskeagh on Monday 4th August kicking off at 6.45pm and we hope to see a big crowd to welcome our guests who have taken time out of a very busy schedule to take part in this special game.
Our thanks also to Johnny McKinstry who is manager of the Sierra Leone national team and also head of the Craig Bellamy Foundation's Academy Programme. Johnny, from Lisburn, is a lifelong friend of Lisburn Distillery FC and has worked with Simon Wragg to organise the game.
Sam Allen and Richard Evans will take charge of the LDFC team as part of their new role as running the clubs Youth Team (Under 19s) in next seasons Irish League Section A.
Family fun day at Ballyskeagh
On Saturday 2nd August, Lisburn Distillery FC is holding a fun day at New Grosvenor Stadium, Ballyskeagh. There will be plenty happening on the day and we want to see as many of our Academy players, family and friends supporting the event. For this reason there will be no training or friendly games organised on this date for Academy teams.
However we are holding a mini-soccer tournament as part of the Fun Day for our Under 8s, 9s, 10s & 11s. We’ll have more details confirmed over the next few days but remember to put it in your diary, IPad or your phone or why not just write it down and stick it on your fridge? See you there.
REGISTRATION DAY AND TRAINING GEAR FITTING
This season’s Academy Registration Day and fitting for any new training gear Academy players require will take place on Sunday 20th July.
Times are as follows
11.00am under 8s, 9s and 10s
12.15pm under 11s, 13s and 14
1.30pm under 15s, 16s, 17s and Youth team.
Fitting for new training gear along with registration for Lisburn League, NIBFA Cup and all club Charters will be completed on the day.
Open training session
Lisburn Distillery is recruiting boys born 2007 for their new under 8 team. There is an open training session at Laurelhill grass pitches on Saturday 28th June between 10-11:30am.
Any queries please contact mini-soccer co-ordinator Simon Wragg on 07747379372.