HIGHLY-RATED Irish keeper Ian Lawlor gets a chance to play on home soil tonight as he will be one of the main attractions in a Manchester City U21 side which faces St Patrick's Athletic in a friendly.
City's Elite Development Squad, managed by Patrick Vieira, are in Ireland for a two-game tour, taking on the Saints at Richmond Park tonight (7.45) and Bohemians (Saturday).
The club's big names, including new man Raheem Sterling, are all otherwise engaged with the first team's tour of Vietnam this week but City's Irish-based supporters will be keen to see the next generation, with a major focus on keeper Lawlor. The Dubliner has been given a taste of the big time, having earned promotion to the senior Ireland squad under Martin O'Neill last year while he has also travelled with the first team as cover for Champions league games. Fellow Dub Jack Byrne will not feature as he's on a season-long loan deal with Dutch side Cambuur.
Saints boss Liam Buckley, on a stunning six-game winning run in the league, could see some changes before the transfer window closes on Saturday. Ciaran Kilduff has already left Richmond Park, having joined Dundalk on Monday while Conor McCormack, a frustrated figure with only five league starts this season, is on his way to Derry City. "The friendly against City will be the perfect opportunity to prepare for the league match against Galway, and hopefully we can entice a few people down to Richmond Park who have never been before," said Buckley.