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One of Dublin's most famous schoolboy clubs to be part of new U15 National League

St Kevin’s Boys will be one of the 24 sides competing in a shortened season set to begin in August.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

DUBLIN SCHOOLBOY CLUB St Kevin’s Boys will be one of 24 teams competing in the first-ever SSE Airtricity U15 National League, it has been confirmed today.

The teams will compete in a shortened 2017 campaign, starting on the week ending 20 August, before a full season scheduled for March 2018 gets underway.

The initiative continues work done in recent years to create a clearer pathway for the development on young Irish footballers, with the previous establishment of U17 and U19 leagues.

Along with the 20 existing SSE Airtricity League clubs, three schoolboy leagues — Kerry Schoolboys League, Mayo League, Monaghan/Cavan Partnership — and St Kevin’s Boys will compete in the inaugural competition.

St Kevin’s Boys will feature in the shortened season after agreeing to work towards creating a partnership with Bohemian FC, thereby allowing the schoolboy club to join existing partnerships into the National Leagues.

Seven other clubs currently have partnerships with schoolboy sides – Bray Wanderers (St Joseph’s Boys), Drogheda United (Drogheda Schoolboys, Home Farm, NECSL Schoolboys), Dundalk (Malahide United), Galway United (Galway FA and Schoolboys), Shamrock Rovers (Corduff United, Kildare Schoolboys), St Patrick’s Athletic (Belvedere, Cherry Orchard, Crumlin United), and UCD (Mount Merrion).

The shortened season will feature four groups of six teams with the fixture list set to be released ahead of next month’s official launch.

“Having the U15 League in place further develops the pathway to elite football for the country’s most talented footballers,” FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter said in reaction to the news.

This now means that the very best U15 players throughout the country will now play against the highest quality opposition, thus enhancing their development as they progress to top-level senior football.

“I would like to congratulate each of the schoolboy clubs and leagues who successfully applied to forge partnerships with SSE Airtricity League clubs.

I would also like to thank those who have been unsuccessful in their applications. The Working Group will continue to be available to work with these clubs on their future development plans.”

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