Foyle Cup is a real family occasion

Mark McGlynn. der(s)1
Mark McGlynn. der(s)1

The Foyle Cup always provides an entertaining family outing for the McGlynns, but this year they have even more reason to enjoy it, with no fewer than four siblings taking part in the tournament.

Dad Anthony, who once defied opposing forwards between the sticks for Castlefinn Celtic, has been attending the top competition for seven years, but never before has he had so much personal interest in it.

Zoe McGlynn.  der(s)2

Zoe McGlynn. der(s)2

Last year, three of his five children took part, and two finished with winners’ medals. If all manage to end up on the winning side, his off-spring could double that tally in the 2014 tournament.

Peter takes the field with Sion Swifts Under 19s, Simon will be playing with Finn Harps Under 17s, Zoe with Lagan Harps Ladies and Mark with Sion Under 10s.

“It’s in the blood,” laughs Anthony, from Raphoe. His own career saw him play as goalkeeper for Castlefinn Celtic, while his uncle, Dessie McGlynn was a very highly rated player at Lifford Celtic.

“All the wains love playing football. It’s like a religion in our family. They’ve all played at schools level too.”

Peter McGlynn.  der(s)3

Peter McGlynn. der(s)3

The proud father is non-committal as you might expect when it comes to picking out which child he thinks is best, but he admits to thinking competitive daughter Zoe (15) has considerable talent.

“I call her the Wee Steel Nail,” he says. “And she’s a footballer along with it.”

She was on the winning Lagan Harps side at last year’s Foyle Cup, while Simon picked up a winner’s medal with Donegal Schoolboys.

While he travels to a number of competitions to support his kids and to watch football, Anthony is full of praise for the Foyle Cup in particular.

Simon McGlynn.  der(s)4

Simon McGlynn. der(s)4

“I go to a few tournaments, I’m a parent supporting his wains, and I’m proud that four of them are playing in the Foyle Cup. For me, it must be one of the best tournaments in the world, not just in Europe, not just in terms of the matches but the whole organisation.”

Anthony is a parent to two other girls, Gemma and Maria, but they appear to have been by-passed by the football gene. Instead their talents lies on the athletics track.

So is Anthony hoping to see his kids pick up more medals this week?

“It’s always nice if they win, but the main thing is that they enjoy it.”

Children grow, of course, and one by one will eventually stop playing in the Foyle Cup.

“I don’t know what I’ll do then,” he admits. “I love coming to the Foyle Cup. It’s a fantastic occasion.”