Update From Our Under 17s
- Mon, Jul 18, 2016 @ 17:43
The St Pat's U17s maintained their place at the top of the SSE Airtricity U17 Northern Elite Division with another win on Saturday afternoon.
Jamie Moore's team beat Cavan / Monaghan FP 5-2 at Gortakeegan.
The own goal set them on their way before goals for Cavan / Monaghan just before and just after half-time put the home team 2-1 ahead.
The young Saints showed great character to get back on terms through Cian McMullen's close range shot before sub Josh Hogan's looping header put them 3-2 ahead.
Late strikes from Evan Casey and Neill Byrne put some gloss on the score-line.
That's now ten wins, one draw and one defeat from their 12 league games.
The boys also advanced to the second round of the Mark Farren Cup midweek, thanks to an excellent 1-0 win over UCD.
John Martin got the winner against the team who are at the top of the SSE Airtricity U17 Southern Elite Division.
The Saints make the short trip up the M1 on Sunday (July 24th) to play Drogheda United at 2pm.
Manager Jamie Moore has been reflecting on their recent form.
"The lads have been brilliant since the summer break, a lot of them had their leaving cert so to come back and win four of the five games has been great. We beat Longford 3-1 and then lost 2-1 to Shels, but we followed that defeat with a 2-0 win in Derry, and the recent wins over UCD and Cavan / Monaghan."
"We've played some brilliant passing football and scored some top class goals, I'd like us to be a little tighter at the back which we were in the Derry and UCD games."
What makes their recent run of good form even more impressive, is the inclusion of a number of the new signings in the team in recent weeks.
The U17s have added international quality to their squad over the summer with the signings of six 2000 born or U16 players.
Goalkeeper Brian Maher (ex St. Kevin's), Padraig Finnerty, Cian Lee and Richie O'Farrell (ex Belvedere), Ryan Burke (ex St. Joseph's Boys) and Cian Hughes (ex St Francis) have all joined the club.
"Five of the lads have played international football over the last couple of seasons, and if Padraig continues his good form, I've no doubt he will earn himself a call-up."
"Brian, Cian and Ryan have been excellent in the four games they have played in since the break and have slotted into the team perfectly, the other lads have missed out through injury but I expect them to be on the pitch soon."
"In fairness though, it's been a squad effort, myself, Darragh, Sean, Shane, Tom and Christy are delighted with where we are at, at the moment, but it's important the boys keep striving to improve, the lads who have been with us since the start of last season have also been top class and will continue to be along with the new players."
"The new lads need to live up to the standards the current group have set."
26 players over the last four and a half seasons have come through the club's U17 and U19 teams to play for the St. Pat's first team, something Jamie thinks will continue under Liam Buckley.
"Liam has shown since he has got the job that he will give young players a chance and put them in the team, if they are good enough. That's very important for me and the players that they see a pathway from the U17s to the first team."
"Sam Verdon, Rory Feely, Jack Bayly and Darragh Markey have been in the squad for the Europa League games recently while there's loads of other lads in the squad and team around the age of 19/20/21."
"Jamie McGrath, Lee Desmond, Sean Hoare, Mark Timlin and Conor O'Malley are some who come into my mind now, and there are plenty more."
U17 winger Josh Hogan, who has also impressed for the U19s this season, has already played twice for the first team in pre-season.
After playing at the weekend and midweek three weeks in a row, Jamie says his squad are enjoying a couple of days of rest.
"It's been a busy period for us since the break with five games in just a couple of weeks, we have some injuries too so the lads will have a few days off before coming back in on Tuesday."
"They need to keep the same standards and level of performance in our next league game up in Drogheda on Sunday before we play Dundalk at home in the cup in Richmond on Tuesday week."
"I went up to United Park on Sunday to watch Drogheda play Dundalk as we have both teams in the next ten days, it finished 0-0 and both teams played well. Although we have beaten both already this season, that will not matter one bit in the next two games, we know we have to keep performing at the same level and continue to look to improve and develop."