‘TIMES’ IRISH CUP SPECIAL - Education the name of the development game for teenager Richardson

Jake Richardson (right). Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Jake Richardson (right). Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Jake Richardson - a student at The Belfast MET Football Academy - will continue his education in the game this weekend from a place inside Portadown’s semi-final camp.

The teenage full-back made his senior debut this season and first-team appearances have included an assured performance in the Irish Cup victory against Portstewart.

Suspension will rule Richardson out of selection but the 18-year-old admits the campaign is proving a dream experience in terms of overall development for the youth players.

“I watched the semi-final against Glentoran in 2013 with my mates as a supporter,” said Richardson, the grandson of long-serving team attendant Geordie. “Last season I won the Harry Cavan Youth Challenge Cup but missed the semi-final.

“The buzz leading up to Saturday is going to be amazing and the younger lads just want to learn as much as possible.

“You can feel the anticipation inside the club leading up to the big games.”

Richardson considers his daily education in the city as a key part of any progress.

“I am working on my fitness every day with the Belfast MET course,” said Richardson. “That has certainly helped me.

“It was great to be part of the Irish Cup run in some way and it will obviously be brilliant for me and the other young lads spending this week and matchday around the squad for a semi-final.

“You learn so much from watching how the players handle the big occasions.”