Portlaoise Panthers club got the best news possible to begin the New Year with the announcement that Maeve Phelan and Claire Melia have been selected on the girls U-16 Irish International squad that will take part in the European Championships in Macedonia from 13th -23rd August.
For the first time in the club’s history two players have been named on the same final panel of 12. Both players play are a major part in the success to date of their club teams as they claimed local league honours last season while they have helped their U-16 team to remain unbeaten in all competitions this season.
Maeve Phelan and Claire Melia have become outstanding talents over the past number of years due to their hard work and dedication to both school and club basketball.
Claire, who hails from Monasterevin, is the older of the two, who joined the club last year after having success with Kestrels of Portarlington the previous two years. She has also been an integral part of her school teams in Ardscoil Rathangan where she has led her team to the “A” All-Ireland finals on numerous occasions.
Maeve has come up through the ranks of the club and has also made a big impact in her short career to date. She will also join up with next years U-16 International squad as she will be eligible again to do so. Maeve has also had success with her school team Scoil Chriost Ri as they took home the U-14 All Ireland title in 2014.
Both players received the great news after returning from Copenhagen where they played Denmark in three highly competitive games which will stand to them ahead of the European Championships. Both players follow in the footsteps of their older sisters who also represented Irish teams in the past.
While the players and their families are looking forward to what lies ahead for the girls in August, the Club are extremely proud of their achievement also. These two players deserve their places on the final 12 for all the time and effort they’ve put in to achieving their goals.
The future looks extremely bright for both girls and we wish them all the best in their training for the Europeans.