Cabinteely, represented by Daire Doyle on the far left, are looking to make major waves in the League of Ireland first division in 2017. Picture: David Maher/Sportsfile

PAT Devlin has hit out at the Football Association of Ireland for failing to include the First Division in their promotional campaign at the launch of the 2017 SSE Airtricity League season in the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday.
Cabinteely FC’s new director of football and first team manager is a big player in the process of overhauling the club in a bid to reach the Premier Division as soon as possible, and he is not happy about how the governing body have overlooked the First Division.
He is, however, still confident the Stradbrook-based side can make an impression on the division this season.
“We are certainly going to improve all aspects of the club,” Devlin told GazetteSport at the launch. Whether we can improve results remains to be seen because all the other clubs in the first decision have invested very heavily so it’s catch-up for us.
“As you can see by all the advertisements, the First Division isn’t the place to be because it is not even recognised in our own branding, and I think that’s disgraceful.
“The First Division is a breeding ground for the rest of the league, but it should be acknowledged because we all pay the same registration fees. All of a sudden it’s a graveyard and I think that’s wrong.”
Devlin will hold influence over the whole club as he seeks to help them become more professional on and off the pitch.
He’s enjoying the job in hand so far but he openly admits that it has proved more of a challenge than first expected.
“It’s a bigger job than I would have expected time wise. It has been non-stop since December 21 and there have been all different aspects of it such as; trying to base ourselves in Stradbrook and signing new players.
“It’s very early days but I would have to say that we are heading in the right direction, but we definitely need to be more professional off the park and on it, and get Dun Laoghaire [Rathdown County Council] behind us.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day; the club is two years in. This is a new plan now and we are going to give it a real go.”
On the pitch, Devlin has decided to bring in some experienced campaigners in the form of Jason Byrne and Daire Doyle, and he hopes to now have a nice mix of youth and experience.
“My job was really a blank sheet of paper and we had to sign for [players] three teams so I think we signed over 75 players.
“It’s a mixed bag of young players, experienced players and ones who played last year so we are pushing them a little bit to try and get more professional on and off the park.”
Cabinteely begin their league campaign with a home tie against UCD on February 24.

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