Stephen Paisley has his sights set on winning the eircom Premier Division title with St Patrick’s Athletic this season and following in the footsteps of a club legend. The former Republic of Ireland U-21 international has won over many of the Super Saints fans this year after a host of superb performances at the back for John McDonnell’s side.
Some of the Richmond Park faithful have been started to compare him with former captain Colm Foley, who retired last season after seven years of loyal service for the Dublin club.
Paisley is flattered by the link, but admits that he has a long way to go before he can reach the kind of levels that Foley previously soared at in the red and white for St Pat’s.
“Collie is a good friend of mine and I still speak to him a lot. I was a St Pat’s fan as a kid and I used to watch him playing and look up to him,” Paisley told eircomloi.ie.
“Any comparsion to Colm Foley is always nice. He was an excellent player and his record for the club was tremendous. If I could have the sort of career that he had then I would be a happy man.
“I see myself as more of a senior player this season as I have been there longer than other people, even though it is only just over a year since I arrived and I want to take on more responsibilty.
“With the likes of Colm and Darragh Maguire no longer at the club there is now a space to be filled for some senior players to do the kind of job that they did so well as the club looks to be successful.”
Paisley, who joined the club from Longford Town, has been enthused by the start to the season by St Pat’s and hopes that they can keep their good run going.
“Things are going quite well at the minute. We’re top of the table and you can’t do much better than that,” said the 24-year-old.
“I still think there is more to come from the team. We haven’t been performing to our capabilities in certain games and I do think we can push on and do even better.
“If you have any aspirations of challening for a league title, you have to be winning games even when you are not playing well. We have been grinding out results, but need to keep improving.
“We learnt quite a bit from last year, in that we started off in the same sort of way but now have a different formula. We are aware that we can’t afford to have a dip in form and some of the players are that bit more experienced and know what is needed.”
St Pat’s face a tricky test away to Drogheda United on Friday evening.