St Pat’s launches club’s new Emerging Talent Programme

ST PATRICK’S Athletic officially launched their new Emerging Talent Programme in Richmond Park on Friday.

Involving players from Crumlin United, Cherry Orchard and Belvedere, the initiative, which is spon-sored by InsureMyVan.ie will see players from Under 10 to 13 train twice a week in the League of Ireland side’s new academy.

St Pats Academy Launch 03

The first session will take place on Friday, September 15, with players being set on a pathway towards the launching of the new National Under 13 League in January of 2019.

Mark Connolly, who is overseeing this new initiative in St Pat’s, believes it will benefit all the players involved.

“We don’t want to be going all over the country trying to get players we’ve never worked with before, promising them the earth, moon and stars like other clubs do,” he told The Echo.

“We’ll be working with these kids and it is up to us to see them progress.

“They’ll get to know academy-style training and know what it’s like to train full-time.

“Not all of these kids will end up in St Pat’s, but we’ll have them ready to walk into any League of Ireland club in the country,” he insisted.

St Pat’s have been one of the strongest performers in the National Under 19 and 17 Leagues in recent seasons while their Under 15s have made a very impressive start to this year’s campaign, winning their opening three games.

Speaking to stpatsfc.com, Director of Football Ger O’Brien outlined how the scheme will be innovative and a huge step forward for the club.

“It’s unique in the sense that it will be the first time a League of Ireland club has done this.

“The FAI for example have been rolling out an emerging talent prog-ramme for a number of years now by bringing players together from different clubs for one night a week.

“We at St Pat’s will be getting players together twice a week, with the aim being to give young footballers an identity with the club and to come through our player pathway and continue their development ahead of coming into an elite level and an Under 13 team.

“The planning of all of this with Cherry Orchard, Crumlin United and Belvedere has been excellent and a lot of credit needs to go to all involved in the three clubs.

“Everyone involved, and especially all at St Pat’s are really looking forward to see this get up and running” he added.

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