Yesterday, we brought you the news that Saint Kevin's Boys were conquering all before them at an Easter Under-13s tournament. St Kevin's will face Barcelona in the final this afternoon, having beaten both Barca and Deportivo yesterday.
Despite the traction gained by the tournament, and the enormous positivity it has generated, St Kevins' are worried that the competition is facing the axe as a corollary of an FAI ruling.
Kevin's chairman Michael O'Callaghan explained the situation to John Fallon of the Sunday Independent:
In their dubious wisdom, the FAI have decided to enforce a rule that the under 19, the under 17, and eventually the under 15 and under 13 national leagues will be the exclusive preserve of League of Ireland clubs.
By enforcing this, we and most schoolboy clubs will lose our best players and coaches. In fact, it may transpire that we lose so many of our teams and volunteers that our very existence is threatened.
Kevin's may fall victim to an entire system overhaul to improve the standard of players available to the senior Ireland squad. The FAI have plans to allow academy clubs like Belvedere and Home Farm, along with Kevin's to retain Academy status over the next five years, but the future is uncertain beyond that.
The FAI have denied that they are explicitly favouring League of Ireland sides, and instead are demanding a standard of coaching and infrastructure.
It remains to be seen what exactly happens with Kevin's and the competition, but the club can claim credit for helping the development of Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick and Jack Byrne.