Having overseen his fledging St. Patrick’s Athletic side put on formidable display in the SSE Airtricity National Under 15 Cup final against Cork City, Head Coach Denis Hyland spoke of his delight as well as putting the day in perspective.
“Delighted for the lads, I really am. We were beaten in last year’s final so it was great to get the win. First-half, I thought we were a bit nervy, but we came out flying in the second half and after we got that second goal, I thought we were very good.”
Saints keeper Joshua Keeley saw red minutes after the second goal going in but his side went on to get two more, and his boss has some words of support for the highly rated stopper.
“He’s obviously gutted in the dressing room and a bit hard on himself, but he’s only a young lad, they’re only under-15s so these things can happen.
“I told him to use this experience in his development, he has been outstanding for us all season and involved in the under 16 national side for a reason. He’ll come back stronger for it for sure.
“Look, Josh has took one for the team, because they would have scored into the empty net, so I suppose you could look at it that he showed some experience for his age in stopping their player outside the box!”
On the game itself, Hyland went on to praise the standard of his sides goals and thought his No.10 Ben McCormack was pivotal. “You’d have to go a along way to find three goals better than them, but to happen in the one match was fantastic.
“Ben (McCormack) was involved in the first three goals and its clear to see the talent he has on the ball, but we’ve been working hard to educate him on the side of the game when he doesn’t have it.
“But that pass for the second to split the defence, if you saw that in the Champions League, everybody would be going on about it.
“The third goal was vital too because they were really pushing to get back in it and, in fairness, it was some finish from Cian (O’Malley) with the overhead. But part of me was like, what is our centre half doing that far up when were down to 10 men!
“But like I said before, and I’ll go back to it, it’s all about the players learning and developing all aspects of their game along with and they have been doing great in that regard, so yes, a proud day all round.”