Galway United U14 manager Xavi Vazquez is hugely encouraged with how his talented team is developing.
A league semi-final encounter against Cobh Ramblers now beckons on Saturday. The excellent 4-0 win over St Patrick's Athletic illustrated United's considerable potential. "We are so happy, the players deserve to be in the semi-finals," Vazquez says.
Pat's brought a well regarded collection of footballers to the west of Ireland, but United produced a splendid display.
"They are a fantastic team with fantastic players, they are very, very good," Vazquez says about the Saints. "It was always going to be a difficult game, but the lads have something inside. In the most difficult games they play fantastically and they did it again.
"It is always difficult to keep everybody happy in terms of game time and importance in the team. You saw here we have a team that everybody is playing their part, everybody has a role.
"We are so happy with that, without it we wouldn't be here. Sometimes it is difficult because you have to make hard decisions, but then at the end everybody is happy and we will try to be in the same mood next week."
Exposing emerging young players to these type of knockout matches is important according to Vazquez.
"It is not the same as a normal game with three points, it is a game where if you lose you are out," he replies.
"If we lose our season is finished, so they have this pressure. They want to play these games, it is fantastic to play the best sides in the country. For their development that is the best way to do it. When they are playing like this we are so happy.
"It is an amazing feeling, you are playing against really good teams. With the desire to win, with the effort and hard work, the players always compete. Now we are in the semi-finals."
**Listen to the full interview with Galway United U14 manager Xavi Vazquez on this week's 'Cian On Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.