- Friday December 8th, 2017 @ 12:00
Goalkeeper Brian Maher Signs First Ever Professional Contract With Saints
Ireland's best young goalkeeper has signed for 2018!
Ireland U15, U16, U17, U18 and U19 international Brian Maher has signed his first professional contract with the club.
The goalkeeper, who has just turned 17, has been a Saint for the last two seasons.
He played a key role in our U17s winning the SSE Airtricity League title in 2016, and captained the team to the top of the SSE Airtricity League U17 Northern Elite Division this year.
The former St Kevin's Boys goalkeeper spoke to StPatsFC.com shortly after signing his first ever professional contract with Liam Buckley on Tuesday night.
"It's a great feeling to get my first professional deal done and now I can continue with our off season programme and be ready for pre season in early January."
"I signed for this club as a 15 year old because I knew that if I performed well that there were opportunities to progress. Liam told me this when I first signed and he's been true to his word."
"I've really enjoyed my two seasons with the U17s and also played some games for the U19s last season and there's hopefully more to come from me."
Maher, from Raheny, has just turned 17 and will also be a part of our U19 squad for the 2018 season, he admits from step from U17s and U19s to the first team will be a big one, but one he's ready for.
"I've just turned 17 and I think that it's definitely a big step up for me but nothing really changes. I'm still playing football for St Pat's as I have done for the last two years, so I just need to get that going with the U19s and also with the first team if I get the opportunity."
"Liam has said that it's about getting myself ready to be playing in first team games so I've just got to work hard and see where it takes me and hopefully I'll get my chance somewhere down the line. The training sessions at a higher level will also be really important for me and I'm looking forward to that."
The first session of pre-season will not be Brian's first with the first team. He trained alongside Pat Jennings, Barry Murphy and co on a weekly basis last season and was also involved in the squad for games so it won't be a totally new experience.
"I've been in with the first team for over a year training and I've been on the bench a few times so I won't be nervous heading into training in January. The players and staff have been really good in helping me settle in and I think this helped me to just focus on my performances and hopefully that will be no different moving forward."
Ireland international Maher is aware that the balance between football and education is still an important one, he'll sit his leaving cert in June 2019.
"I'm only in fifth year so it feels like the leaving cert is a long way away, but I've spoken to club about this and I won't have a problem in balancing both for a year or so and I'm sure I'll be fine with football and school. I just have to keep my head down just like a lot of the lads have done here before with school and also college and I'll be no different."