DYFL Provides Great Soccer Platform For Youth

Young soccer players enjoy the Downpatrick Youth Football League (DYFL)

Around 800 young footballers participate in the Downpatrick Youth Football League with a lot of support from mums and dads, friends and families.

Down News visited several sessions at the weekend – DYFL cup matches and the Small Sided Games – and there was a great atmosphere as the young soccer stars kicked their way around the pitches with a smile on their face.

Paul Moore runs the DYFL with a small team and he is always looking for dedicated volunteers to help out from parents and club officials and anyone who can help keep the DYFL going forward. It’s all hands to the pump!

Wouldn’t it be great if we created an all girls team league in the DYFL ? There is certainly a growing interest in women’s soccer and maybe some mums can don the bibs for a couple of hours a week. But that’s only an idea floating in the ether at the moment that might involve the parents.

Kilmore Whites Win U11 DYFL Cup

The cup U11 clash between Celtic Bhoys and Kilmore Whites was determined affair as both sides played their hearts out.

Kilmore did a bit of early attacking, and had a slight wind advantage. But Celtic made a great move from Nos 8 and 9 and almost scored.

Then Kilmore seized the initiative and broke forward and Mac scored the opening goal for the Kilmore Whites breaking in from the left.

Tiernan receives the Player of the Match award from Ronan Gilchrist, DYFL sponsor.
Ronan Gilchrist, DYFL sponsor, presents the U12 league cup to the Kilmore Whites.
Kilmore Whites managers Laurence Grant and John Kells pictured with the team winning the U11 DYFL Cup.

Tiernan just kicked over the bar for Celtic in a quick reply. Then the equaliser came when Regan hit a low ball to the Whites’ goal beating the goalkeeper.


Kilmore went into the lead again with a great goal from Rian after two of his forwards each took shots that were bravely saved by the alert keeper.

But Celtic were not lying down. Kilmore was the only team that had beat them in the league this season. Jude pulled a goal back to equalise on 2-2, but the Whites player Rian quickly put his side back in the lead.

Celtic U11s managers Aaron Shields and Anthony Morrison with the Celtic Bhoys side.

It was then Mac’s turn to rush in and score for the Bears putting them decisively in the lead. But they were not finished.

Kilmore almost scored from an acute angle as they pressed Celtic and the game had the spectators on their toes.

The Whites’ striker Rian pounced twice scoring pushing the score up to a convincing 6-2, and a comeback was very unlikely as the match was coming to a close.

The Whites came out on top in the mighty struggle as the winners but fair play too to Downpatrick for putting up a great resistance and their players showed they can tuirn on the skills when the heat is on.

Tollymore U12 Bears Claw Way To A Win Over Downpatrick

The second match played at the Ballyhornan 4G pitch was a cup clash between Downpatrick U12s and Tollymore Bears.

DOwnpatrick started off by pressing Tollymore in the early stages but Tollymore broke out and Dylan scored for the seasid.

And in a quick reply, A volley from Downpatrick hit the post and went to a corner. The Bears fought back yet DOwnpatrick broke forward again almost getting past the back line.

The Tollymore Bears team with managers Neil McCullagh and Walter Richards celebrate after winning the U12 DYFL Cup.

Gradually the Bears pushed Downpatrick back top their goal area but Downpatrick did come out probing the Bears defence to find an angle to attack.

Downpatrick had the wind behind them in the second half but despite that the Bears were forcing themselves up into the Downpatrick half in style.


Downpatrick enjoyed a good spell of possession and control of the. game and a solid volley from the forward line saw the Bears’ keeper control the ball well.

The U12 Tollymore Bears receive the U12 DYFL cup.

On one occasion Downpatrick attackers were unlucky and hit the post twice and this was a let off for the Bears. And this was followed by another header when a forward just missed a soft header for the goal. But the wind was probably the unsettling factor in the misses.

Again Downpatrick piled on the pressure forcing the Bears’ keeper to make to important saves. The the keeper again playing an important role for the Bears came out to narrow the angle when a forward was charging at his goal with the ball and blocked him successfully.

Downpatrick were getting closer to scoring and a solid volley saw the Bears’ keeper scramble to get the ball safe.

Then Peter broke loose for the Bears and scored the second making a decisive mark on the game. The Bears eventually won but it was a close match between two great teams.

Downpatrick player Rory gets the DYFL U12 Player of the Match award.
The Downpatrick U12 team.

Ronan Gilchrist, DYFL sponsor, said: “It is great that the Downpatrick Youth Football League provides so much for the young people of our area.

“I would like once again to congratulate league chairman Paul Moore and the league management and volunteers for doing an extra special job in keeping the league working well and proving great recreation for the youth and the families around Downpatrick.

“This is a positive success story and the DYFL must be recognised for their superb efforts.

“And well done to all the players today and throughout the season. There will be more games and competitions yet before the season ends so there’s still a lot more to enjoy yet.”