St Patrick's Athletic U17's play their first ever game in the SSE Airtricity U17 League with their opening fixture of Section 2 against Sligo Rovers in Richmond Park on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.30pm).
The Saints' under the management team of Jamie Moore and Darragh O'Reilly will be looking to get off to a good start with a win over the Bit O'Red before their next fixture away to Salthill Devon on Saturday.
"We are all really excited and looking forward to the new season and our first match against Sligo. Between the coaching staff and I, and most of all the players, we can't wait to get going," Moore told stpatsfc.com ahead of Tuesday night's opener in Inchicore.
"The lads have been flying in pre season and our three pre-season performances in particular have been excellent and we have got better with every game. We beat UCD 5-1 recently and played really well, so everybody needs to keep that going now and take it into the season."
"We are providing a very professional environment for the players in terms of coaching, facilites, gym, strength and condition, and nutrition but the main work is on the pitch. The lads are training well and the real positive for me is that the things we have been trying to help them with tactically and how we want to play have been transferred onto the pitch and improved every game. That's our job as coaches. We have excellent players and if we can help them with little bits of their games individually, that means the team as a whole improves which means we will hopefully have a good season."
For Saints' U17 captain Conor Fowler, he echoed his manager's views that he was looking forward to getting the league campaign underway. "It's going to be a new experience for all the lads involved as travelling all over the country on a coach as a team will be something most of the boys haven't done," the youngster told stpatsfc.com.
"The league is going to be a much more professional environment for us to develop. We have a tough section to come out of as well, so it will be difficult to get out of and progress. But I'm very excited to get started and we feel as a group we can do very well this year."
The former Belvedere youth outlined what it was that made up his mind in joining the Saints' ranks, with the influence of senior manager Liam Buckley one of the key factors.
"What attracted me to pats was the sheer professionalism of the club and what they aimed to do for there young players. The club as a whole truly believe in bringing young talent true the academy, and for a player in the younger squads to see a good lot a youngsters get a chance in the first team, it gives you a lot of belief that this is the right club to develop."
"The first team manager Liam Buckley has been at our games and has been at a few training sessions looking on closely. As a young player, to see that gives you a platform to perform on. Working with Jamie and Darragh has been great and I feel they are the right people for me to develop under. We all really enjoy the sessions and the intensity we are made the train at so the standard of coaching is something I'm looking forward to playing under."
Kick-off in Richmond Park on Tuesday is 7.30pm; St Patrick's Athletic U17 vs Sligo Rovers U17 - free admission
|9||St. Patrick's Athletic||15||14|
|10||Galway United FC||15||14|