St. Pat’s boss Tim Clancy knew James Abankwah could be a star the second he noticed him

THE first time Tim Clancy laid eyes on James Abankwah, he tried to signal him for Drogheda United.

And he isn’t shocked that he’ll quickly lose him at St Pat’s as he heads for a dream transfer to Udinese.

James Abankwah raises the FAI Cup


James Abankwah raises the FAI CupCredit score: Sportsfile

The 18-year-old defender will probably be within the Saints workforce tonight within the season curtain-raiser President’s Cup in opposition to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.

However Lucan lad Abankwah will be moving to Italy following his Leaving Cert in a deal that’s believed could possibly be value as much as €1million to the Inchicore facet.

The switch payment — which included a big up-front fee — was concluded final month and highlighted simply what a sizzling property the promising centre-half has grow to be.

However it’s no shock to new Saints boss Clancy, who noticed the potential.

He revealed: “I keep in mind watching James in an Below-19s sport firstly of final season and talking to Stevie (O’Donnell, then-St Pat’s head coach) and Seán O’Connor and some on the membership on the time.

“Attempting to nick him off Pat’s and attempt to get him on mortgage for Drogheda however they stated no, he’s very properly considered.


“And the few weeks I labored with him, earlier than he received to Udinese, you could possibly see there’s a very excessive ceiling in the place James can go.

“Athletically he’s excellent and football-wise he’s solely going to get higher as properly.

“It’s a extremely attention-grabbing one to see how his profession develops. It’s going to be a pleasure for me to work with him for the following six months and see the place he goes on after that.”

The settlement noticed Abankwah signal a 4½-year cope with the Serie A outfit however was instantly  loaned again to St Pat’s whereas he completes his Leaving Cert in Adamstown this summer time.

And Clancy insisted that the defender has taken the life-changing swap in his stride.

He stated: “He’s a extremely good child, very well-mannered, a sort child and he’s received an excellent angle which bodes properly for him in his profession going ahead.


“He’s gone from a contract with us to in all probability a really profitable contract at Udinese as a child earlier than he’s even completed college.

“However no, he’s been wonderful since then, he’s as targeted as he ever was in coaching.

“He hasn’t modified a single bit. That kind of tells you his mentality, that he desires to remain and do the Leaving Cert.

“He has a superb head on his shoulders and a superb household that can help him. I believe that can give him a superb probability when he will get over to Italy in the summertime.”

Whereas Abankwah will quickly be departing, Clancy has had a busy first switch window since taking cost of the membership final November.

He snapped up Mark Doyle and Joe Redmond from former membership Drogheda  whereas additionally attractive Tunde Owolabi from Finn Harps and he signed promising West Ham goalkeeper Joseph Anang on mortgage.


However his large coup was persuading Bolton Wanderers striker Eoin Doyle to move residence.

The 33-year-old — who averaged a objective each three video games within the UK for a decade — signed a three-year deal.

Clancy added: “He’s an enormous signing, when you look within the low season, you in all probability take a look at Jack Byrne and Eoin as the 2 marquee signings from exterior the league coming in.

“Getting Eoin again was a large one for us. I floated it to the chairman, I knew it was going to be a troublesome one as a result of he was scoring targets in League One this yr and it’s a credit score to the chairman to get that one performed.”

With the Saints additionally rejecting below-market-value gives for Darragh Burns — who Clancy believes will probably be higher in his second full season in senior soccer — they’re properly positioned.

However the brand new Inchicore boss reckons they may have a tricky problem to enhance on final season’s second-place end and FAI Cup win underneath O’Donnell.


Forward of tonight’s conflict, the Meath man insists champions Rovers are nonetheless the workforce to beat.

He stated: “They’ve been persistently the most effective workforce during the last two seasons.

“The continuity they’ve had within the squad, they preserve chipping away, and preserve the robust gamers and including to it, it’s a profitable methodology.

“They’re those that everybody goes to be aiming in direction of this yr and my job, after Pat’s having an excellent season final season, is to attempt to construct on that now and get nearer and attempt to surpass Rovers this season.”

Defender Andy Lyons — who joined the Hoops from rivals Bohemians throughout pre-season — will miss out tonight together with Aaron Greene.

Returning star Jack Byrne is ready for his second debut for the membership.

BOYLESPORTS ODDS: Rovers 20-23, Pat’s 3-1, Draw 9-4.

VERDICT: Rovers St. Pat’s boss Tim Clancy knew James Abankwah could be a star the second he noticed him

Fry Electronics Team

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