• Under17

  • Friday December 11th, 2015 @ 22:47

Hoops & Saints Meet In SSE Airtricity U17 Final

Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic will meet in the inaugural SSE Airtricty National U17 League Final at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday afternoon (3.00pm).

Both sides have enjoyed excellent debut campaigns in the new league and came out of the same Section 2 at the group stages before progressing through the knockout phase.

The Hoops won each time the sides met in the group stage but their coach Aidan Price does not believe that will be a telling factor in the final.

"In the games we played against them which we won it was very close and I don't believe those results mean anything. They had chances and it could have gone either way," he said.

"It could go either way tomorrow. It's about who puts in the performances. If we can match the performances we've put in recently that could be the difference.

"It's a great occasion for the players and we hope that the players show what they're capable off and showcase what this level is about."

St Pat's coach Jamie Moore is similar convinced that there is little between the sides and will look for his side to produce a performance.

"100 per cent we believe that we can win. They've beaten us twice home and away but I feel we could have got something from both games. In the 6-2 game we were actually 1-0 up after 35 minutes," he said.

"Our quarter-finals and semi-finals were arguably our best displays of the season. Rovers are obviously one of best teams in country. We have to be on our A game and if we have enough players in that situation we'll have a chance.

"We want to enjoy the occasion, playing in Tallaght Stadium - one of the best in the country is great for the players - so it's a game to enjoy and not to be nervous."

Price insists that the Hoops did not set out to become the champions this season but has been delighted with their progression over the course of the campaign.

"Setting out at the start it wasn't about getting to the final but our main focus was on improving the lads. We focused on performances individually and collectively and it's a bonus to be at this point," he added.

Moore acknowledges that the Saints did have one eye on becoming one of the sides still in the competition on the final day of the season so is naturally pleased they achieved that target.

"At our first meeting we said we wanted to be here on the last day of the season. It would have been a shame not to have pushed on after progressing through the group stages," he said.

"The principles in the club's U17s and U19s is the same and our goalkeeper being able to pass the ball is as important as the players up front putting ball in the net. It's a collective approach."

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St Patrick's Athletic FC

Founded in 1929 the 'Saints' play in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League at Richmond Park, in Inchicore Dublin 8, Ireland.

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