Wednesday 25 April 2018

Neale Fenn explains why Longford Town don't want to move youth set-up to Dublin

20 August 2010; Neale Fenn, Shamrock Rovers. Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Bray Wanderers, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
20 August 2010; Neale Fenn, Shamrock Rovers. Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Bray Wanderers, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Conor Neville

Longford Town manager Neale Fenn is becoming well acquainted with the demands and pressures involved in running a regional League of Ireland club.

The 2003 and 2004 FAI Cup champions have run their affairs in a reasonably prudent fashion and have thus avoided the chaos witnessed at Athlone Town and Bray.

They were relegated to the First Division last season and, following managerial upheaval in the first half of 2017, will not be returning next year.

They're currently sixth in the table but in the FAI Cup at the weekend, Fenn's part-timers beat the full-time Premier Division outfit Sligo Rovers 4-2 after extra-time.

Fenn is positive after the win - which he credited to a greater sense of momentum in the extra period - but he also talked about the challenges facing regional LOI clubs.

Speaking on LOI Weekly, he talked about the thorny matter of whether to move the underage operation to Dublin wholesale.

"The easy thing for Longford as a club to do would be to say we're set up in Dublin. And then we're going to run our '13s and '15s and '17s from Dublin.

"And play our home matches in Longford but we'd be training here (in Dublin). But they don't want to do that.

"I see what they're doing. They want to keep the '13s and '15s down there to develop football in Longford. But you're going to have to understand you're not going to get the best players coming through.

"If you're a really good 13 or 14 year old in Longford, historically most of them would have played in Longford. So, you've got to keep them in Longford and say that's the best team for you to play."

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport