Belvedere Football Club is delighted to announce an official affiliation partnership with St Patrick’s Athletic.
This new agreement will see both clubs working together in the best interests of our young players moving forward during changing times in Irish football.
Belvedere club Chairman Jimmy Scurry spoke to BelvedereFC.Com about the announcement.
“This is our first venture in being officially affiliated to a professional club and we’re very much looking forward to the potential it offers for both our players and our club as a whole. We believe that our link-up with one of the League of Ireland’s top clubs will, over time produce big dividends for both clubs.”
“I want to thank the players, managers/coaches and our executive officers for their full support and commitment during this period. It hasn’t gone un-noticed and I’m really grateful for their honest endeavours.”
“I also wish to thank St Pat’s Director of Football Ger O’Brien, First Team Manager Liam Buckley and their team for their professionalism, commitment and understanding throughout the process.“
Jimmy told us how the link up came about.
“St Pat’s made it very clear from the outset that they were serious about wanting to link up with Belvo. They recognised that we have a fantastic history and pedigree for producing top quality players who have gone on to play at every level. They have also witnessed for themselves throughout their history the number of players and coaches who have joined their ranks from Belvo and who have gone on to help their club achieve success.”
“As a member of the Belvo committee, our objective at all times was to ensure that any agreement would deliver the best outcomes in terms of player development and our ongoing commitment to providing schoolboy football at all age levels from our Academy right up to our Under 17s.”
Amid changing times in Irish football, with the introduction of the League of Ireland U15 National League this summer and plans for an U13 National League down the line, Jimmy explained more of the reasons behind the decision.
“The main reason for the link is because of the introduction of the new National Under 15 League. We therefore wanted to make sure that we linked up with a progressive club and we believe that St Pat’s fits that bill to help our players play at the top level in Ireland. It’s certainly unchartered water for all schoolboy clubs. We are looking forward to working with St Pat’s.”
“The primary benefit is that it will create a clear pathway for our players to play and compete at the highest level within the country. We will also be able to share the wealth of knowledge and experience that both clubs have to offer in player development and education.”
Pic: St Pat's U17 Manager Jamie Moore, Assistant Darragh O'Reilly and nine former Belvedere players after winning the SSE Airtricity League U17 Elite Division title last season
Belvedere Director of Coaching Darragh O’Reilly also gave us his reaction to the agreement.
“I'm really pleased that the link up is in place and we can now officially announce it. Since the idea was first explored there has been a willingness on both sides for it to happen so it's nice to get it done.”
“In my opinion the link up is a very positive move for both clubs and I think that it will prove to be very successful over the coming years.”
“From Belvo's point of view, we are linking up with a progressive, professional club to provide a pathway and additional support to our young players which can only benefit them.”
“For St Pat’s, it's a link up with one of the most successful and prominent schoolboy clubs in the country with a proud record of developing young people, a number of whom have gone on to represent St Pat’s over the years.”
Darragh echoed Jimmy’s comments about the player development pathway being at the heart of agreement.
“Both clubs will be working together to provide opportunities to develop our players on and off the pitch. This link up will not only help to safeguard Belvo’s future, but will also provide a pathway for our young players to potentially reach the highest level of football in Ireland and combine it with 3rd level education in Maynooth through St Pat’s scholarship scheme too if that’s the route they choose.”
O’Reilly says that both clubs have in effect doubled their coaching and development experience which will help the players.
“I think this is one of the biggest advantages with the link up. There is a wealth of experience with both clubs which can only benefit the players and both clubs and of course the coaches too.”
“We are fortunate to have people who have been involved in schoolboy football for more than 40 years as well as our coaches who do such great work with our young players.”
“That experience combined with that of Liam Buckley, Ger O’Brien and the other highly qualified coaches at St Pat’s will mean we can pool our resources and work together to provide additional supports on and off the pitch to our young people and I think that can only help them.”
Pic: Ex Belvo and St Pat's midfielder Chris Forrester, who is now captain of Peterborough United
Saints’ Director of Football Ger O’Brien spoke to StPatsFC.Com after meeting some of the Belvedere players and managers at our training base in Clontarf earlier in the week.
“Belvedere FC has had a fantastic tradition of developing some of the best young players in the country over the last number of years and we are really happy to have agreed a partnership with them.”
“We feel that a huge amount of work has been put in by Belvedere to help develop players and our plan would be to continue that and give these players a pathway to playing League of Ireland football with St Pat’s after their time in the DDSL.”