Francis step up with new U-19 side

by Gazette Reporter

 stephen findlater
sport@dublingazette.com

ST FRANCIS have taken another big step forward in their club progression with confirmation on Tuesday evening that they are set to enter a side in the Leinster Senior League Under-19 division for the upcoming 2014/2015 season.
An application has been sent to the LSL for inclusion with Kieran Cantwell and Gerard O’Gorman on board to run the side with their home games set to be played at their Baldonnel home in John Hyland Park.
Speaking about the move, club PRO Paul Stafford explains that it is a strong step forward as St Francis look to strengthen the links between their youth section and their senior teams.
It is seen as another step forward for the club and a great opportunity for St Francis to develop players that will filter through to the senior set up in the coming years.
The club’s Under-14s this season claimed their second successive SFAI All-Ireland title with victory in the Goodson Cup while the Under-12s reached the quarter-final phase of their respective competition.
With the seniors also progressing to the fourth round of the FAI Intermediate Cup and qualification to the Senior Cup, it has been a strong season on all fronts for the club.
They are now looking to increase the links between the senior and schoolboy sections further with this latest move.
“It’s to provide a stepping stone to the senior team,” Stafford explains. “Basically, our schoolboys’ teams finish at Under-15s this year; last year it was at Under-14s so we had nothing to feed our players into the senior side. This will try and give us another age group to filter players through the system.
“There was no age group between 15s and seniors and the players all had to go elsewhere. Of the Senior Sunday side that we have now, about seven or eight did come through the schoolboy system in St Francis but there has been a big break in that in the last couple of years with that gap in the schoolboy section.
The management team have been busy recruiting and new players are more than welcome to their first pre-season training session on Monday, July 7 at 7pm.
Elsewhere, the club will be represented by Ryan Murphy, Millenic Alli, Jack Connor, Jack Connolly, Thomas Caffery and Charlie Barry from the club’s Under-14 Premier side who are representing the DDSL Kennedy Cup Team at this year’s tournament.

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