It was a whirlwind 24 hours for Drogheda United’s Stephen Meaney 

Stephen Meaney Drogheda United
Stephen Meaney

Drogheda United striker Stephen Meaney made his League of Ireland debut on Friday night, in a 4-1 defeat to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium, before then lining out, and scoring twice, for the U-19’s on Saturday afternoon. 

We caught up with the 19 year-old and asked him about his weekend, “Well the weekend was a bit mad to be honest. I’ve been in with the squad for the last couple of weeks after I was called up to play against the Irish U-21’s, which we won 2-1, and I came on and managed to get the winner.”

“Since then I’ve been involved with them and of course on Friday I travelled to tallaght with no real intentions of being in the squad, so there was mixed emotions when Pete (Mahon) named the team. I was a bit shocked but obviously buzzing at the same time.”

“I came on around the 70th minute and thought I done well. Pete and the lads were really pleased with me so regardless of the result I walked out of tallaght stadium a happy man.”

He didn’t get much time to reflect on his debut though, as another big game lay in wait, “The following day we had a game with the U-19’s. Before the Rovers game my manager Derek Boyle, who has been absolutely great to me since I came to Drogheda, had rang me and told me regardless of what happens later he needs me for the game against Cavan/Monaghan the following day, and of course I said no problem.”

“The game went well we got the 3 points and I managed to get 2 goals for myself, but more importantly it was a good all round performance from the team which is the main thing.”

Stephen Meaney action v St Patrick's Athletic
Meaney in action against St Patrick’s Athletic

Meaney spent some time at both Shelbourne and Bohemians, but this season things are beginning to take off for him, “The season is going well at Drogheda thankfully, we’re doing well and the vibe around the squad is good. Everyone’s training as hard as the person next to them, so hopefully the results reflect the hard work that’s being put in in training for both the U-19s and first team.”

“For me personally, I’m feeling great, I’m playing well and I have 10 goals in 10 games so I’d like to think I’m helping the team out as much as possible. So it was a crazy 24 hours for me definitely but I couldn’t be happier. I want to make a career out of football and I’ll do anything in my power to help make that happen.”

Drogheda United Assistant Manager John Gill was full of praise for the youngster, “Stephen is a young kid who came to us this year as an 18 year-old to play for our U-19’s. He was brought to the club by our youth development manager Derek Boyle and since he’s come to the club he has been scoring regularly for our U-19s team.”

“We have watched him closely and Pete brought him in to train with the first team about 4 weeks ago, and in fairness to the kid he had done really really well. He is probably one of the best finishers I’ve seen at his age and if he keeps grounded and listens to the right people we feel he has a big chance.”

His manager at U-19 level Derek Boyle said, “Stephen played most his school boy at Shelbourne. He then played League of Ireland U-17s and U-19s for them before going to Bohs for half a season. He then signed for us. He’s a big athletic lad with great technical ability and game intelligence.”

“He’s been playing very well for us since he came in and has now scored 10 goals in ten games. He’s a natural goalscorer. The last few weeks he’s been training with the first team and Pete (Mahon) is really happy with the progress he has shown and gave him his debut from the bench last Friday in Tallaght stadium.”

“He played against cavan /monaghan on Saturday in the U19s and scored twice bringing his tally to ten for the season. He’s attitude both on and off the pitch has been brilliant and hopefully he can start scoring for the first team.”

Photo Credits: Larry McQuillan (Drogheda United)

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