Sunday 24 September 2017

Schoolboy clubs to up ante in St Kevin's row

John Delaney: Problems to solve. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
John Delaney: Problems to solve. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

An alliance of unhappy Dublin schoolboy clubs is ready to step up the pressure on the FAI as the ongoing row over the inclusion of St Kevin's Boys in the new U-15 National League rumbles on.

The newly formed DDSL (Dublin & District Schoolboys League) Alliance was created after St Kevin's were the only nursery club invited to join the new national league.

Most of the clubs in the alliance were encouraged by the FAI to forge relationships with League of Ireland teams, after it was made clear to them that there would be no room in the U-15 National League for any of them.

However, the FAI then decided to allow St Kevin's play in the U-15 League - at least for the initial truncated season - on the basis that they were engaged in discussions with Bohemians about forming a partnership, even though no deal has been reached.

Twenty-four teams will participate in the U-15 League, which is due to kick off on the weekend of August 19-20.

The fixtures were released yesterday and St Kevin's are due to start their season away to UCD.

The schoolboy clubs have engaged legal representation and sent a letter to FAI chief executive John Delaney before last month's AGM in Kilkenny.

They received a response on July 17, acknowledging that the matter had been brought to Delaney's attention and promising a full response the following week.

That has yet to be received and, with anger growing, the clubs are now preparing to send follow-up correspondence after gaining strength in numbers as the row has rumbled on.

The Alliance initially had six members, but their number is understood to have risen to at least 14.

The League of Ireland are also unhappy with the FAI's decision to admit St Kevin's and they have had several meetings on the matter, with some talking about boycotting the competition - although such an action would risk a sanction.

The bad blood being felt in different corners of the game is leading to complications.

Clubs in the Dublin and District Schoolboys League have been refusing to sign transfer forms to allow players sign for League of Ireland clubs.

In addition to Kevin's, the other non-LOI sides are regional representative teams from Mayo, Kerry and Monaghan-Cavan.

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