Waterford soccer star Ronan Mansfield (12) makes Ireland debut at Actavo Cup Dublin

Ronan Mansfield started against St Patrick’s Athletic, Celtic, Newcastle and Swansea as Cherry Orchard Dublin host Actavo Cup

A West Waterford soccer player started four matches with the Republic of Ireland under 13 squad at Actavo Cup in Dublin last weekend.

Cappoquin Railway Football Club's Ronan Mansfield says the Actavo Cup at Cherry Orchard was “the best competition” he has ever played in.

Ronan was part of the Football Association of Ireland under 13 emerging talent programme international team that beat St Patrick’s Athletic 3-0, lost 1-0 to Celtic, drew 1-1 with Newcastle and were heartbreakingly beaten 2-1 late on to Swansea in the Trophy Final.

“It was an unforgettable experience. We were up against top opposition and some really outstanding players. We were comfortable against St Pat’s and were aggressive on the ball against Newcastle - we were unlucky not to win that game,” Ronan told Waterford Live.

“Celtic were a quality team and we were up against it but gave it our all. We saved our best performance for the final against Swansea and were in bits when we lost out to an injury time penalty. But overall we gave a good, professional account of ourselves. We challenged in every game and we can take great pride from that,” the 12-year-old continued.

Ronan has just started first year at Blackwater Community School in Lismore and is now looking forward to playing more games with the South East Centre of Excellence in Waterford. “The plan is to get back training, learning and improving for the next game,” a motivated Ronan added.  

Ronan’s father, Tom, is “extremely proud” of his rising soccer star son. “Ronan’s hard work and willingness to learn has really paid off,” he smiled.

Cappoquin Railway Football Club also heaped praise on Ronan for a “superb achievement”, adding: “Ronan, you are a credit to your club, your coaches, your teammates and your family in your dedication, commitment, hard work and talent. The future is bright,” a club spokesperson added.

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