Saturday 24 February 2018

St Kevin's Boys beat mighty Barcelona but must meet them again in final

The St Kevin's Boys team celebrate Roland Banya's winner
The St Kevin's Boys team celebrate Roland Banya's winner
Picture originally posted on St Kevin's Boys Twitter account

Tom Rooney

St Kevin’s Boys poked a serious hole in the notion that Irish football isn’t churning out enough young talent by pulling off a famous 1-0 victory over Barcelona today.

St Kevin’s are regarded as one of the great incubators of footballing excellence in Ireland and have helped nurture the likes of Liam Brady, Damien Duff, Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick and Jack Byrne before passing them on to some of England’s great institutions of soccer.

However, earlier today, at the club’s headquarters in Santry, the latest batch of youngsters may have surpassed all previous achievements.

In the second round of fixtures in the Academy Cup, St Kevin’s bettered the mighty Barcelona thanks to a first half winner netted by Roland Banya.

The tournament is to be played out over the course of the weekend and, prior to pipping the mighty Catalans, the Dublin club drew with Glasgow Celtic on Friday, and beat Deportivo La Coruna 3-0 in the semi-final to set up another meeting with Barca tomorrow.

St Kevin's manager Gerry Browne lauded the effort of his players and the work that his gone in to bringing them along.

"It’s fantastic. Barcelona, the most club in the world, so what an occasion for the players down there, the club and the DDSL (Dublin District Schoolboy League)," Browne said. 

"We’ve worked hard all week and, in fairness to the players, they’ve carried out there duties to the last. We watched Barcelona yesterday and changed out game plan compared to yesterday’s game (Celtic). But like I said, the lads did all the work.

"It’s a character of the club. It’s players that we’ve added to the quad for this tournament. Our whole focus is developing players and, in fairness today, that’s proved well worthwhile."

See Niall Scully's match report in Monday's Herald Striker supplement

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