Football

UKAF Footballers Labelled 'Best Team Of A Generation'

The team's manager, Flight Sergeant Nick De-Long, believes in the abilities of his players saying they are the "best team of a generation".

Flight Sergeant Nick De-Long has said his UKAF players are "the best team in a generation" after their victory over the Irish Defence Forces.

The team's manager was speaking after a 2-1 win in Ireland.

Sam Atkinson's penalty won the game for the UK Armed Forces, but Flight Sergeant De-Long was expecting a difficult task.

He said: "They’ve just drawn with France, beaten Lithuania and qualified for a World Cup. They are in a different position than us."

The manager also called for more support to take the team to the next level.

“Are we on the rise? Our team is very good but we need all the organisations and the three services to get behind us.

“This team is the best team of a generation when we have everyone together."

Sam Atkinson celebrates scoring the winner with his team mates.
Sam Atkinson and his teammates celebrate after scoring against the Irish Defence Forces.

The UKAF boss also praised the young players who have joined his squad despite not getting on the field.

He said: "The senior players were fantastic in the end, but we’ve had a number of under-23 players which have come and supported the group.

“Although they didn’t play today, they have been a pleasure to have around. I’ve explained to them that they have a future with us as an organisation."

Captain Richie Barber, Irish Defence Forces manager, said: "The boys gave everything and to be honest, we were the better team in the first half.

"The game should've been done but when you give away silly goals, against an organised team...you're going to struggle.

"The biggest lessons we can learn, especially going to a World Cup, is when you get a chance to put a game to bed, you must put the game to bed."

Captain Barber also paid tribute to the UKAF side and thanked the city of Dublin and St Patrick’s for letting them host the game.

"We all have our military jobs to do, so the majority of this is done in our own time but we get massive support externally and I can't thank St Pat's, the FAI and the military command enough for their support," he said.