12 players from Laois clubs will represent the Midlands Schoolboys League and the Carlow District League at the Kennedy Cup which begins today.
Portlaoise AFC lead the way with eight players on the Midlands team while St Fiacc’s of Graiguecullen have four on the Carlow team.
Ben McDonald, Cathal Lee, Conor Brown, Dan Ubesie, Eoin McGrath, Evan Hewitt, Jamie Toman and vice-captain Robbie Farrell make up the Portlaoise contingent.
While the St Fiacc’s quartet consist of Scott Roycroft, Aaron Dorgan, Jack Byrne and Jamie Murphy.
The UMBRO Kennedy Cup Tournament is the most prestigious underage soccer competition in Ireland.
It is held annually in Limerick University and attracts scouts from all over the world who come to pick out potential talent.
Each of the 32 affiliated Leagues enters a squad of twenty U-14 year-old players to compete over an entire week with additional competitions for those teams which do not progress to the latter stages of the Kennedy Cup itself.
The Midlands are top seeds in Group 4 where they are placed alongside North Tipperary, Limerick District and WWEC.
Carlow are bottom seeds in Group 5 where they are in with tournament favourites DDSL, Athlone and South Tipperary.
The Midlands begin this afternoon against WWEC at 4pm before facing Limerick District and North Tipperary on Tuesday. They must top the group to progress to the last 8 of the Kennedy Cup.
All second placed teams go into the Bowl, third placed teams head for the Shield while the sides that finish last in their group will progress to the Trophy competition.
Carlow begin against the DDSL at 6pm tonight and will then play Athlone and South Tipperary on Tuesday.