O'Donnell encourages St. Pat's to 'kick-on' after FAI Cup final win

St. Pat's head coach Stephen O'Donnell has encouraged his side to 'kick-on' after their FAI...

9:36 PM - 28 Nov 2021

O'Donnell encourages St. Pat's...

O'Donnell encourages St. Pat's to 'kick-on' after FAI Cup final win


9:36 PM - 28 Nov 2021

St. Pat's head coach Stephen O'Donnell has encouraged his side to 'kick-on' after their FAI Cup final success.

The Saints beat Dublin neighbours Bohemians 4-3 on penalties at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday to claim the title for the first time in seven years.

Robbie Benson was the hero with the last spot-kick after the game finished up 1-1 after extra-time.

Speaking to OTB Sports at full-time O'Donnell said it was an emotional day for all involved.

"It's more relief I think, when you're in the coaching side of it.

"As a player it's absolute jubilation - you run down and congratulate your teammate and jump on him or whatever.

"It's more a big sigh of relief when you're a coach or a manager.

"There were only two trophies this season to go for.

"I would have been delighted with our boys win, lose or draw today.

"We came second in the league and we got to the FAI Cup final and this is the icing on the cake.

"I'm delighted for them, for some of them to add to their medal haul and for most of them to win their first senior medal."

There was a real sense of occasion to this game prior to kick-off and indeed in the build up.

This was perhaps due to both teams not featuring in the showpiece for a number of years and also the fact it was a Dublin derby, the first time the decider had been for 21 years.

The level of interest and intrigue was born out in the attendance of 37,126 people.

O'Donnell says the league, and indeed the talent it's producing, is in a good place but he hopes it can strengthen even more.

"I think when the game starts you're focused in on it, but 37,000 is great.

"So much young talent on both teams is great too.

"Players that have come through youth academies, that's brilliant.

"I think there's something there for the league to really kick-on.

"There were some very good passages, a lot of young talent from both sides.

"37,000 is good but hopefully it's just the start.

"Hopefully cup matches of 35/40,000 will become the norm."

Sunday's success marked O'Donnell's first trophy in coaching, having only retired from playing in 2019.

He arrived at Richmond Park in August of that year, bringing his former Arsenal and Falkirk teammate Pat Cregg with him.

O'Donnell is hoping there's much more to come and believes this St. Pat's side can go on to produce more.

He says the win will instill confidence in them to now fully back themselves.

"I came in the back-end of two seasons ago.

"I don't know was there that belief that we can go and win things and go and compete.

"Last season I probably felt the same way but this season I think the league run helped us.

"We were chasing [Shamrock] Rovers, we were up there for most of the season.

"That gave the lads belief to think we're not that far off it.

"This is huge for them belief-wise, to go and win a trophy.

"Especially for the younger ones, they've done it now, and football is about kicking-on."

Read more about

Aviva Stadium FAI Cup St Patrick's Athletic

You might like