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04th Mar 2014

JOE’s Airtricity League Preview: St Patrick’s Athletic F.C.

How will the Inchicore men do this season?

Eric Lalor

St Patrick’s Athletic F.C.

Colours : Home – Red and white, Away – Navy blue/light blue

Home – Richmond Park

Manager – Liam Buckley

Nickname – The Supersaints

2014 odds – 9/4

The reigning champions, and a lot of people’s tip to regain their title, St Patrick’s Athletic are the team to be beaten this season. It would be fair to say that if you finish ahead of Pats, you’ll have a serious chance of winning the title.

Winning their first league title since 2002, St Pats deservedly became champions under the stewardship of Liam Buckley (pic below)with a style of football which won them many admirers. The Inchicore men haven’t rested on their laurels and have looked to strengthen an already strong squad with some shrewd acquisitions, most notably the capture of ex-Irish international, Keith Fahey. They’ve also signed from Shamrock Rovers, Ken Oman, Conor McCormack and James Chambers as well as securing Lee Lynch from Sligo Rovers. The departure of Anto Flood leaves them a little bit short up front and this is the only possible weakness in the Pats squad. Behind the scenes, Buckley has appointed the highly rated former UCD boss Martin Russell as his assistant.

Liam Buckley celebrates at the final whistle 13/10/2013

With players of the calibre of Chris Forrester, Kenny Browne, player of the year Killian Brennan (pic below)and Christy Fagan, it’s the Saints who all the other teams will have to beat this season. It’s always tough become champions of the Airtricity League, but even harder to retain your title. However, we have seen nothing to suggest that they won’t be there or thereabouts again this season.

Killian Brennan  26/7/2013

Players in – Keith Fahey, Ken Oman, Conor McCormack, James Chambers, Lee Lynch

Did You Know? – England’s World Cup winning goalkeeper, the legendary Gordon Banks played one match for St Pats during the 1977 season in a game against Shamrock Rovers. He kept a clean sheet too as Pats won 1-0. Picture below of him making ‘that’ save from Pele at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Gordon Banks 6/1970

Hopes – They will want to have a decent European campaign and with the squad they have available, another title is not beyond them.

Player To Watch – Keith Fahey

If they were a big European club: They’d be Arsenal. Similar kits and a team from the capital who have successful spells over the years without being dominant