• Tue, Oct 26, 2010 @ 9:11

Jake Carroll from Lucan becomes the first player from the club to enter a new third level scholarship programme sponsored by St Patrick's Athletic FC and NUI Maynooth.

Jake who currently plays for the St Pat's under 20's side has been selected to receive a scholarship to begin the first year of a three year arts course at the Kildare college starting this September.

Saints boss Pete Mahon spent many years in charge at UCD where he saw at first hand the value of linking education to football, “sometimes there is too much focus on making it in football at all costs and you can't put a price on education”.

During Mahon's time at Belfield, UCD had an established scholarship scheme for players to study at the college while playing in the national league and he is delighted to be taking the first steps with a similar programme at St Pat's, “whether someone makes it in soccer or whether they have a long or short career it is important that they get a proper education and that's what this partnership with Maynooth will hopefully deliver”.

As well as playing for Pat's, players like Jake will combine their studies with representing the college in national university leagues and competitions.
Former League of Ireland player Barry Prenderville now a soccer development officer at the college is delighted to be working with his former club, “in terms of our sports science departments and sports facilities, the players will be very well taken care of while at the college”.

He added “at the end of it all they will emerge as well rounded individuals with a qualification and with the possibility of a career in the Aitricity League and beyond that as well”.

The scholarship partnership with NUI Maynooth offers takes a more committed and long-term approach to the development of young players at the Inchicore club “a programme like this takes time, money and the right candidate”, says Mahon, “I would like to wish Jake the best with his football and his studies and hopefully he will be the first of many Pat's players to successfully come through the programme”.

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