The Ireland soccer squad, along with coaches and backroom staff, were guests of Headfort Golf Club in Kells on Wednesday when they played a round of golf on the magnificent New Course.
Irish manager Martin O’Neill, a keen golfer who has played Headfort quite a few times, was invited to take his squad to the Meath venue on a ‘rest day’ and he accepted the invitation.
On a scorcher of a day the team bus pulled into the Headfort around 10.30am and posed for photographs. According to the club, they had tea and coffee while O’Neill and Headfort Vice-Captain Peter Burns outlined the order of play for the day.
Headfort Captain Norman Ormiston and President Larry Walsh started proceedings on the first tee along with O’Neill and Headfort’s Brian McMahon.
According to Headfort, Shane Long, Aidan McGeady, John O’Shea along with the rest of the current panel found the New course a huge challenge but were absolutely enthralled with the scenery and playing conditions.
Assistant manager Roy Keane drew a lot of attention from fans and played at the rear of the field. Althogh not a regular golfer the Corkman played the full eighteen holes and enjoyed the Headfort experience.
President Larry Walsh thanked the party for coming to Headfort and wished them well in their forthcoming friendlies against Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal. Following a meal and presentation the players posed for photographs and signed autographs before boarding the bus back to base at Malahide.
A four-person team event was won by Stephen Ward (Wolves), Alan Byrne (medical), Kevin Mulligan (physio) and Headfort’s Francis Duffy. Martin McCormack (Headfort) won the singles competition.