SSE Airtricity League Premier Division side St Patrick’s Athletic tonight unveiled their U-15 management team for the inaugural season.
Denis Hyland will be the manager with former Pats player Sean O’Connor named as his assistant. Hyland has been working with the FAI for the past 12 years.
St Pats Director of Football Ger O’Brien spoke on the club’s website about the new management team, “He (Denis Hyland) showed a huge interest and once we spoke to him, he was our preferred candidate.”
“Denis and Sean both know what type of role they are coming into and the age group really well. It’s a good age to work with and is key as it’s our youngest League of Ireland team.”
“The idea is to try to get the best players into our U15s, and then have a period of 4/5/6 years with them though the U17s and U19s and hopefully into our first team or across the water, if that is the path the players are looking to take.”
Hyland, “I spoke to Ger about his plans for the academy set up and I already knew about the brand of passing football that the club is known for, so for me it was a no brainer to join St Pat’s. I’m delighted with the opportunity and excited about this challenge.”
Sean O’Connor, a UEFA B Licence coach, played for the club from 2005-2007 and 2011-2012.
Sean said, “I’m really excited to be coming back to the club and I can’t wait to get started. It’s a great opportunity for myself, Denis and all of the players and we are really looking forward to starting work.”
“I was a St Pat’s fan growing up and have obviously played for the club so I think I have a good idea of what’s expected of being a Pat’s player. I’ve seen a lot of the U17s and U19s training and playing over the last 18 months. I know the type of football that’s expected which is very similar to my own views of how the game should be played.”
“I know I left the club under a cloud the last time. I felt that a lot of my quotes were misinterpreted in the newspapers, I’ve spoke to Liam and I feel that I’ve cleared that up. There was never meant to be any malice in the quotes. I’m fully committed to St Pat’s now in my new role and we are all focused on the future.”
O’Brien, on O’Connor, “Every Pat’s fan knows Sean, he’s had a couple of spells at the club. I’ve played with him and he probably had his best season of his career here in 2012 when he was nominated for PFAI Player Of the Year. Obviously he left then but we are delighted he’s back. He’s been coaching underage football and on the scene for a number of years, he’ll be working towards his A Licence soon.”
“Everyone can look over what happened before when Sean left but as far as I’m concerned we’ll be leaving that in the past. Sean has been a great help over the last year with organising the training venue for us in Pearse Park, he’s been heavily involved in player ID too. He’s coming back to help St Pat’s and our young players begin their career playing for our club and that’s the key.”