Coach Devine remains true to his footballing philosophy
JOHN DEVINE has played in FA and European Cup finals and knows the pressures of life at the highest level of the game. His decison to come on board and take over the reins of the DDSL was a desire to give something back to the league that gave him a start in the game.
It was an altruistic and honourable decision and even though the DDSL were defeated in Friday’s final in Limerick, the ex-Arsenal and Republic of Ireland defender chose to look at the bigger picture and admitted that he really enjoyed his week in Limerick.
“I think the kids were fantastic and they played the best football of the week. We’ve had them for six sessions and the way they responded to learning new techniques of play has been brilliant.” “We wanted them to make the pitch wide and long. It doesn’t take a genius to play that way, but it can be difficult to create, even so, we told them we were going to stick to our guns and play football and that’s what we did.”
Devine paid tribute to the Midlands Schoolboys League who tried to match the DDSL with an expansive game. “They were the only team who tried to match us and they genuinely impressed me. Everybody else was playing a narrow game.” “We’ve got to remember this was not the World Cup, it’s under 13 development and lets not forget that.”
“The kids perked up very quickly and we asked them if they had benefitted from the week and if they were better players as a result and they all said yes, so we’re happy. The players are the most important part of this process and that will not change as far as I am concerned.” “We are trying to prepare kids for the future and to get them to play the proper way and not go out and try to stop teams from playing.
Other teams changed the way they played to try to stop us and I suppose that’s a compliment to us.” “Good luck to the NDSL following their win. I would like to congratulate all involved”, concluded Devine.