St Patrick’s Athletic boss Tim Clancy believes club’s academy will continue to flourish and benefit Ireland

ST PAT’S boss Tim Clancy believes the Saints academy can continue to benefit him and Ireland for years to come.

St Patrick’s Athletic supplied more players for Ireland duty in the last week than any other club, with 11 away with the Under-17s, Under-19s and Under-21s.

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St Pats boss Tim Clancy believes club’s academy will continue to flourish for club and country
West Ham's loan goalkeeper Joe Anang was on standby for England's Under-21s

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West Ham’s loan goalkeeper Joe Anang was on standby for England’s Under-21s

Along with that, Wolves on-loan defender Jack Scott was with Northern Ireland Under-21s and West Ham’s loan goalkeeper Joe Anang was on standby for England’s Under-21s.

Ireland Under-21 duo Joe Redmond and David Odumosu joined only this season, but the remaining nine have all been in the Saints academy for some time.

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And Clancy believes Pat’s can reap the rewards of the work done in the academy by Seán O’Connor and Ger O’Brien.

He said: “I just think the work the academy at Pat’s has done for a number of years now is probably benefiting them now.

“I’m sure that is something that other young lads around the country will look at and say that there is a pathway at St Pat’s to get into the first team.

“And it was the same at Drogheda as well when I was there.

“It’s just the good work and the recruitment of the academy players and I know Seán O’Connor has brought a hell of a lot of the players into this club who have gone on to do well.

“Darragh Burns, James Abankwah, Glory Nzingo who went to France (Stade Reims) – Seán is the one that recruited a lot of them from teams.

“It’s something he is really good at and he knows that market really well.
“It’s benefiting the club massively as well.

“They have been very strong in the academy for the last lot of years and I think with the amount of leagues and stuff they have won, the international recognition comes on the back of that and that obviously benefits me and the first team.

“We have recruited a few good young lads as well so yeah, it’s something I would be quite keen on, giving young players opportunities.

“The better players you have and the bigger the club you’re at, the more recognition they’ll get.

“The age profile of the league has come down a lot and the benefit of that is having opportunities for young players to get into the first team, with Brexit meaning they can’t leave now until they are 18.

“It’s brilliant for the league and also for the internationals at Under-19s and Under-17s that they are playing first-team football.”

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The flip side for Clancy is that ten of his first-team squad have been away for the past week, with his natural inclination being to worry that they might pick up an injury while on international duty.

But he expects all of his players to return to training today in good shape ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Clancy’s former club Drogheda United.

He added: “I played against plenty of my old clubs as a player and you get used to it, especially in the League of Ireland where there is a big turnover of players in every off-season.

“It will be a strange one as I spent four good years at Drogheda and really enjoyed it.

“But my focus is on trying to beat them on Friday.”

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