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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Student Jamie is happy to learn on the job with Saints

St Pat’s midfielder Jamie Lennon has been an ever-present this season
St Pat’s midfielder Jamie Lennon has been an ever-present this season
Saints boss Liam Buckley

St Patrick's Athletic prospect Jamie Lennon believes he is getting the best education on and off the field to help him carve out a career.

Whether that's in the football world or outside of the game remains to be seen, as Lennon (20) is living the double life of a full-time student in DCU and also as a key member of the St Pat's team.

Lennon should make his 25th Premier Division appearance of the season tomorrow when his Saints side host an in-form Bohemians, a fixture of note for Lennon as he made his full debut for Pats away to Bohs back in March.

There's a lack of an edge to this game as both clubs are safely in mid-table and unable to make a push for a European place, with their Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers almost guaranteed a top-three finish.

Boss Liam Buckley has warned his players against downing tools for the rest of the campaign and Lennon is one player keen to deliver after an impressive season to date.

He's coping with the demands of a degree (Geography and History in DCU) with his football commitments but Lennon feels that his progress, from Shelbourne's U19s side to the Saints first team, has helped his football career.

"From my U19 team of two years ago, most of the players are playing in the league here or abroad. The U17 and U19 set up is working, it needs more fixing," says Lennon.

"But the philosophy is working as there is so much young talent in the league now that's coming to the fore, better than going to England at a young age but then coming home and giving up football or going to a Leinster Senior League team.

"It's a great platform for younger lads so if they want to go abroad later in their careers, they can as they are more mature and more educated," added Lennon, who copes with his academic demands also.

"I always loved school, I wasn't forced to go to college, it was something I wanted to do and it's always good to have in the back pocket in case football doesn't work out," he says.

"It can be hard, I would miss a couple of lectures a week because of training but the only time I find it hard is around exam time when I would have to miss training, there is pressure that comes with that."

The Saints come into tomorrow's derby on the back of some very decent form, three wins and a draw from the last four league games.

Bohs are the most in-form side in the country though as Wednesday's 3-1 victory away to Derry City in the FAI Cup quarter-final made it eight wins from eight games in all competitions for Keith Long's outfit.

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