A few months back, Conor Gordan was putting together his two week road trip schedule with his team, the Killesters. The young coach from Ireland was searching online to find teams for his 16u to play while visiting the United States. After coming across the Edge Athletics website and reading through some of the content and articles posted, he decided to contact Jim Santoro, the Director of Edge Athletics, using the contact us feature. He was looking for someone in New York that could point him in the right direction. Two months later, Edge Athletics hosted a mini friendship tournament at the Poughkeepsie Day School.
Four teams competed over a two day period that included Edge Athletics 16u and 17u, the Golden Eagles 16u from Hyde Park and the Killesters from Dublin, Ireland. Following the final game on Thursday, the teams were treated to a barbecue and swim at the Santoro house. “We were hoping to find some teams that were a bit better than us,” said Coach Gordan. Although dropping all three games to the US teams, coach Gordan was pleased and excited for his team. “it’s was a great for us to compete against the teams that Edge set up for us,” he said. The Killesters are considered one of the top teams in their country and feature one of the top point guards for their age division. All four games were competitive and had value for more than just the visiting team. “This has been a great experience for our teams as well,” said Santoro. “They were a class act on and off the court and our kids had the opportunity to socialize with athletes from another country in a non competitive environment,” Santoro added.
Coach Gordan had been in the United States since mid June working at various camps and clinics in the US. He is working towards his degree in Sports Management at a university in Dublin and hopes to make coaching his career. For now, he coaches at the high school level and for the AAU equivalent in Dublin, Ireland.
The Killesters played the Edge 16u team on Thursday and exchanged t-shirts and stories over burgers and hot dogs, a typical all-American barbecue. The athletes found as many similarities in the their two cultures as there are differences. Food was one thing both could relate to. “We ate at Wendy’s last night after the games because we pretty much have everything the US has as far as fast food and chain restaurants go……except Wendy’s. We don’t have that,” coach Gordan said. But the barbecue added a warm friendly touch to the experience. “It was a pleasure having them. We had a chance to talk with coach Gordan, the athletes, and some of the parents that accompanied them,” Santoro said. That talk has already lead to planning next years trip. Only this time, Edge has been invited to come to their country. “We will see what develops. It takes enormous coordination, commitment, and of course money,” Santoro said. Edge is already in the planning stages for 2011. Only time will tell if those plans include a trip to Ireland.