RIVERVALLEY Rangers Under-12s footballers are pushing to break club history as they prepare to face St Kevin’s Boys in the quarter-final of the SFAI Cup next Sunday.
Paul Kelly’s side are enjoying a fantastic season to date, leading the charts in the NDSL Premier Division as well as booking their place in the semi-final of the Kevin Moran cup last weekend with a 3-0 win over Maynooth.
League and league cup success are something this talented squad are accustomed to, having achieved a double last season.
All-Ireland glory, however, is something far more rare not just to this team, but to Rivervalley as a club in general.
“It’s up there with the biggest games in the club’s history,” said Kelly.
“I think we had a team reach the quarter-final stage 10 or 12 years ago but lost to Crumlin United so if we can manage to go one further this season it’ll be the club’s biggest result at this level.
“It would be huge for the club, huge for the area and I hope as many people as possible can come out and support us.”
On the task of facing a St Kevin’s side comfortable in the top division of the DDSL, Kelly is under no illusions, but does have confidence in his team.
“We’ve seen them play and know what they’re about and I’m sure they’ve seen us too.
“They’re a top DDSL Premier side so they’ll be a good strong test but we’re a good side ourselves and when it comes to a lot of NDSL sides we probably don’t get the credit we deserve.
“We’ll give them a game, I’ll be hoping we’ll give them more than that but I think it will be very even, it could go either way. I’m just hoping it goes our way.
“We’ve a good side. I’ve six lads on the NDSL academy squad. Val Adeodokun in particular was picked out to go and play for a Republic of Ireland selection against a Northern Ireland select which were put together by people at Chelsea FC after an invitational day out at the AUL. From there they’ll pick players to go over to Chelsea on official trials.”
Before the test of Kevin’s on March 22, Valley host Balbriggan in league action this Sunday and Kelly was insistent that his side must focus on their next game rather than the blue-ribbon cup tournament for now. “The league is the one we always want to win,” said the manager.
“It’s your benchmark. If we can win that game it’ll put us on a good shape going into the following week.
“Hopefully we can get all the players through unscathed and then we can focus everything on the Kevin’s game.”