St Kevins Boys now have a direct pathway from their nursery to League of Ireland football. Pic: Neil Fox

ST KEVIN’S Boys are celebrating after finally striking a deal with Bohemians that allows them to compete in the SSE Airtricity underage leagues.
Under the deal, the two clubs will compete as one in the Under-15 League of Ireland division next season and the Under-13 league when it gets underway in March 2019. They will play in the iconic red and black colours of Bohs while adopting tangerine for away games.
Kevin’s were allowed temporary access to the SSE Airtricity Under-15 league after they struggled to strike a deal with another club, despite holding talks with many League of Ireland sides.
This decision was not met kindly by other schoolboy clubs, who threatened legal action, and the FAI were forced to insist they would only be allowed to compete in the league without a link-up for one season.
“We were lucky enough to get in for the year on our own to experience it,” St Kevin’s PRO Neil Fox told the Dublin Gazette. “We knew we weren’t going to get a second term so it’s a massive coup for the club to get in with such a big club like Bohemians. We want to be a part of the elite League of Ireland and this is what we want to do so we are delighted.
“They are a community club and we are a community club so there are a lot of similarities between us.”
Some believe Kevin’s struggled to strike a deal with other clubs because they were afraid the Shanowen Road side would try to take over but Fox has always insisted that is not the case.
“It was out there that people thought we were trying to take over. We don’t want to take over a League of Ireland club; we are very happy where we are. We just want to be part of it. We are delighted we have our own setup, Bohs have their own setup, and now that the two of us are merged we will work on that.”
Fox also believes that the new link will help Kevin’s grow even further as a club.
“We will definitely attract a lot more players now that we have a big link with a League of Ireland club and a lot of players will look for that when they are going to clubs. What kind of pathway have they got?
“We now have a clear pathway for players that come into Kevin’s at, say, seven years of age and if they are good enough, they’ll go all the way through our schoolboy section.
“Then, if they are good enough, they’ll go through the Bohs and Kevin’s elite partnership, all the way up to the League of Ireland senior team, and who knows after that?”
The deal will allow Kevin’s to stay at the pinnacle of underage football in Ireland with Fox admitting the club did worry for their future if an agreement could not be struck.
“We were worried, of course. We would have still kept going as a club. We were always a community based club and always very good at producing players. Of course, it goes without saying that if you are not part of the League of Ireland setup then all your best players are going to go to the best teams.”

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