Portlaoise girls lives Word Cup dream

Portlaoise teenager Aoife McNicholl arrived back home on Monday after a hugely successful experience for her at the second ever Power Soccer World Cup in Paris last week.

Portlaoise teenager Aoife McNicholl arrived back home on Monday after a hugely successful experience for her at the second ever Power Soccer World Cup in Paris last week.

Aoife was part of the Irish squad which took part in the competition held in the French capital, and while it wasn’t a successful debut for the Ireland team, Aoife could look back on tournament to remember for her. In Ireland’s game against Canada, Aoife was rewarded for her performance with the ‘Player of the Match’ award, while she also hit a hat-trick in Ireland’s 4-0 win over Switzerland, getting to keep the match ball as a result.

Ireland finished ninth overall in their first ever involvement in the tournament, with the USA defeating England in the final. After the highs of the tournament though, it was back to the real world for Aoife on Tuesday (yesterday) when she returned to school in Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise. She will back playing on the club scene soon too, as her club, Midlands United will travel to Limerick in two weeks time for the next round of the Irish league.

In time, focus will turn towards the next World Cup too, with Indianapolis in the USA a potential host city, while there are also plans to develop the game in Europe, with possible ‘Champions League’ style format mooted at the World Cup.

More countries are expected to sign up for the next staging of the World Cup, with delegations from Argentina and BRazil attending this year’s finals, while Aoife’s dad Pierce also admitted it is hoped to have the game included in the Paralympics in the future also.