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Thursday 29 September 2016

Saint Sean is not a keeper

St Patrick's Athletic defender Sean Hoare in action here for Ireland Under-21s against Italy last month Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
St Patrick's Athletic defender Sean Hoare in action here for Ireland Under-21s against Italy last month Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Ireland U21 cap Sean Hoare has no plans to extend his career as a goalkeeper for St Patrick's Athletic.

And his focus is very much on the job in hand of lifting the Saints further up the league table after yet another disappointing weekend for the Saints.

Pat's suffered their third defeat of the season away to a struggling Bray Wanderers, a miserable night for supporters and players who'd made the trip from Inchicore.

Hoare finished the game wearing a pair of gloves and the keeper's jersey in Bray as all three substitutions had been made when No. 1 Brendan Clarke was sent off. He didn't concede any more goals so Hoare could, at a stretch, claim a clean sheet but he's not too keen to go back between the posts.

"I have no idea why they asked me to go in goal, it didn't even occur to me that we needed someone as we had no subs left. I was as surprised as anyone else to get the shout," says Hoare.

"It was only two or three minutes, I didn't really have any shots to save and just one kick-out. A clean sheet from my brief career in goal, I hope that's the end of it.

"It was a night to forget for us. Bray didn't have anything, really, but we made a mistake at the back which led to their goal, and once they got their goal they sat back and parked the bus, fair play to them for holding on.

"We tried our best to get back into the game but we huffed and puffed, Jamie McGrath went close ok but when his chance didn't go in, you know it's not going to be your night."

Five wins from nine league games is not quite title-winning form but Hoare feels this current Saints side have yet to reach their peak.

Clicked

"We still haven't clicked as a team. We have been winning but not as well as we'd like. I hope it happens soon that we do click but we can do a lot better," he added, comfort for Pats in the fact that rivals like Cork City and Shamrock Rovers, an even league leaders Dundalk, have all dropped points as well.

"If we were firing on all cylinders I think we'd be on top of the league, but we haven't done it and overall the league has been like that," added Hoare.

"In general the league is more open, it's been hard for Dundalk to replace Richie Towell for all the goals he scored last season, so they have dropped points and haven't steamed ahead, so there are a few teams in contention still.

"if we start playing as well as I know we can, we will be right up there and there's definitely no need to panic. The great thing about football is you have a chance to turn it around again quickly and we'll look to do that away to Cork on Friday."

It's been a stop-start season for Hoare who missed five of his club's nine games following injury, though there was the bonus last month of a recall to the Ireland U21 squad for their Euro qualifiers, defeats to Italy and Slovenia.

"It was good on a personal level but disappointing to lose," says Hoare, who made his competitive U21 debut against Italy after three friendly appearances.

"I came on in the game at home to Italy but started against Slovenia, it was great to start a game in the qualifiers, a big honour.

"It was a great experience to play for my country, but so disappointing to lose and it's a real downer to be out of qualification with two games to go in the group.

"We have games again in September and the players who were involved in the last games are keen to get another chance and make amends for the defeat we've had."

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