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Harry's game is Euro return for Saints

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Harry Kenny

Harry Kenny

SPORTSFILE

Harry Kenny

Harry Kenny admits that getting back into Europe has to be the aim for 2019 for his new-look St Patrick's Athletic side.

But ahead of his first season in charge at Inchicore, Kenny has also played down talk of his side being contenders for the Premier Divison title. Pat's were regulars in Europe for a spell but 2019 will be their third successive summer of UEFA-free activity.

"I'd like to think we can improve on last season," says Kenny ahead of the season kick-off, his side at home to Cork City on Friday night.

"The team finished fifth last year, if you go one better that should be enough to get you into Europe so that has be the least we aim for."

Pat's finished 37 points behind champions Dundalk last season and Kenny accepts that bridging the gap is a challenge.

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"I saw Dundalk against Cork last week in the Presidents' Cup and I think they are even better this year, with the signings they've made and the fact that they haven't lost players as they did in previous seasons," he says. "So they have set the bar for everyone else and we all have to try and match that but it's going to be hard for everyone else."

The Saints have recruited well over the close season, all of their new arrivals coming from within the league, bar the returned emigrant Chris Forrester.

Fans are excited by the potential impact of new boys like Mikey Drennan and Brandon Miele but Kenny has high hopes for young star from last year, Jamie Lennon.

"It's a big year for Jamie, he was new to the league last season and he performed well but he needs to kick on," says Kenny.

"And I feel he will, Jamie has a great attitude."


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