maxresdefault 1
| | | |

St. Kevin’s Football Club: Ireland’s Schoolboy Elite

St. Kevin’s Football Club have established a remarkable reputation for its commitment to the growth of young players, making it a legendary organisation in the player development space in the Republic of Ireland.

In 1959, Fr. Desmond Williams, who would become Bishop Desmond Williams, started St. Kevin’s Football Club. The Dublin club uses facilities at St. Aidan’s, Ellenfield Park, Wards Cross and their main pitch at Shanowen Road. Since its founding, the club has expanded from teaching football for a single team to managing more than forty teams of multiple ages and skill levels, with about 1,000 players under the direction of 105 managers and coaches. In 2017, the team took home four of the five SFAI Cups that were available to win.

The Academy Cup – St. Kevin’s

They started their International Invitational Tournament at the Under 14 level in 2009, the year of their 50th anniversary, and it became known as The Academy Cup. The Easter-based competition rose to prominence among Europe’s elite club competitions, with a roster that over the years featured FC Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal FC, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Celtic FC, Ajax and many more elite football clubs.

In 2016, 13-year-old Xavi Simons played for FC Barcelona vs St. Kevin’s at The Academy Cup, played in Shanowen Road. Xavi Simons is one of the most promising young players in football right now.

Former Players

The most notable players who have played for the Republic of Ireland are alumni of St. Kevins Football Club. They have paved the way for players like Liam Brady, Damien Duff, Dara O’Shea, Jeff Hendrick, Robbie Brady, Jack Byrne and future stars Evan Ferguson and Kevin Zeffi.

Liam Brady signed for English powerhouse Arsenal in 1971, having left the Republic of Ireland at the age of 15. He won the FA Cup in 1979 before moving to Italy. He played for Sampdoria, Inter Milan and Ascoli before winning two Série A championships with Juventus in 1980. In addition, he managed Celtic and Brighton. After making his debut against the Soviet Union in 1974, he played for the Republic of Ireland for 16 years, collecting nine goals in 72 appearances before retiring in 1990. He was the Irish assistant manager under Giovanni Trapattoni while also returning to Arsenal to succeed as a youth coach.

See also  SOURCES: Dani Olmo Situation Not Being Rushed As Release Clause Expiry Approaches

Before playing for Blackburn Rovers, Damien Duff was a player for Dublin schoolboy teams Lourdes Celtic and St. Kevin’s Boys. Before heading north to sign with Newcastle United in 2006 for three years, Damien played for Chelsea for three seasons, where he won two Premier League titles and totalled over eighty league matches, beginning in July 2003. After his time at Newcastle, he left to join Fulham FC in 2009. Damien earned 100 caps with the Republic of Ireland. During those caps, he scored eight goals, the most notable of which was against Saudi Arabia during the 2002 World Cup. Damien is the current manager of Shelbourne in the League of Ireland.

“People like (Arjen) Robben, (Damien) Duff, even Joe (Cole) in his two great seasons with me were people with appetite to kill matches, to finish”

Jose Mourinho

Bohemians Academy

In 2019, St. Kevin’s Boys Club and Bohemian FC announced the formation of an exclusive relationship to offer a development route from senior football to elite schoolboy football. In 2024, Bohemians and St. Kevin’s announced a new strategic alliance. The League of Ireland boys’ U-13 and U-14 teams will be covered under the collaboration.

Brighton star, Evan Ferguson played for both St. Kevin’s and Bohemians. Evan made his debut with Bohemians at the age of 14. He starred in a friendly game against Chelsea in Dalymount Park at the age 14 in 2019. He joined Brighton in 2021, and now is one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents.

“They all knew. He worked closely with the likes of Karl Lambe, Rob Doran and Willie Burke, these guys that managed him over the years at the club have known from the start. I saw it myself when he came into the club as a 7-year-old. You just knew there was something special about him, it’s very hard to judge, but you knew when you saw him play at that age how he was miles ahead of everyone else and there was something special about this kid.”

Mr. Fox talking about 7-year-old Evan Ferguson.

Name Change

In 2023, St. Kevin’s Boys Club changed its name to St. Kevin’s Football Club to include a girls football section. The Disney Playmakers football programme served as the foundation model for the new ladies’ football department.

See also  Spot Fixing in Football - Unveiling The Dark Side of Football

About The Author

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply