All four of our mens underage teams got their EA SPORTS LOI Academy season up and running at the weekend.
You can read a full review of their progress below.
MU17: Finn Harps 0-0 Dundalk FC
The MU17 team returned home from Letterkenny with a point after a scoreless draw against a Finn Harps side who went very direct.
Conor Woods’ side defended very well throughout and created a number of good chances but they just couldn’t find the goals they deserved.
“It’s really important that the lads learn to take their chances when they arise,” said Woods.
“Harps were very physical and slowed the game down at every opportunity and it was brilliant for the players to face a different type of opposition which is only good for their long term development.”
Luke Mulligan and Callum Doyle Travers played well throughout while Conall Alfred came into the game with 20 minutes played and went on to have a big impact.
“The lads were disappointed to come away with a point after being on top for majority of the game but it shows how far the players have come,” said Woods. “We have the quality and expectations to go into every game looking to win.”
MU14: Dundalk FC 0-3 St Patrick’s Athletic
In their first game at this level, our MU14 side fell short against a very well-drilled St Patrick’s Athletic side at Oriel Park on Saturday but head coach Shane Grimes said he was proud of his young players.
“It was a tough game to start off with,” said Grimes. “Pat’s are one of the strongest teams with a lot of pace and power in their side but the application from the lads was top class and we really matched them at times.
“I felt we went into the end of the first 30 minutes slightly on top but we gifted them a goal with just seconds to go. The lads really battled on well but we obviously gave away two further goals.
“It’s all about learning and developing and the lads will have taken lots out of that game,” he said. “Once we see progression, that’s what it’s all about and I have nob doubt the lads will be raring to go against Shelbourne this weekend.”
MU19: Dundalk FC 2-1 Longford Town
The MU19 team got off to a winning start at Oriel Park on Sunday afternoon, beating Longford Town 2-1.
“I was very happy with the performance,” said head coach Tiarnan Mulvenna. “We put in a lot of work during pre-season and the running stats were very pleasing to see.
“Performance-wise we probably should have won by more. We missed a number of chances but you’re going to get days like that.”
Eoin Kenny and Donnacha McNamara got their names on the scoresheet and Mulvenna praised the duo for their performances.
“Donnacha was very good as the lone frontman and Eoin, along with Senan Mullen and Oisin Coleman in the centre was excellent,” said the former Dundalk striker.
“Anthony Moyo grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the opening 20 minutes and that made the game a lot easier for us.”
“Callum Bonner and Dualta Honney and Ryan Boyle also made a big impact off the bench, keeping the momentum going, so it was a positive start.”
MU15: Dundalk FC 1-3 Bohemians
Thomas McShane’s MU15 team were left wondering what might have been after slipping to a 3-1 defeat to Bohemians in their opening game.
The visitors started on the front foot and capitalised on some sloppy defending to go 1-0 in front towards the end of the first period.
After going down to 10 men when Liam McCabe was harshly sent off, Dundalk were left with it all to do when Bohs doubled their advantage but McShane’s side changed their shape and looked dangerous on the counter with Jack Martin pulling one back from the penalty spot.
Another mistake, however, put paid to Dundalk’s chances of getting back into the game as Bohs made it 3-1 going into the final third.
“We showed good shape not to concede in the last 30 minutes and we also showed a threat going forward which was the pleasing thing,” said McShane.
“It was a case of what might have been,” he added. “If we had kept 11 players on the field I think it might have been different at the end so there are lots of positives to take from it.
Callum Woods came up from the U14s and did very well and Fahd Monney did the running of two men up front