Cork Soccer: Leeside club have ambitions to compete at the top tier in the MSL

Cork Soccer: Leeside club have ambitions to compete at the top tier in the MSL

Spectators watch the Leeside and Castleview game from outside the pitch last weekend at Little Island. Picture: Larry Cummins.

HUNGER and motivation, and the joy of being back playing are the key factors in which Leeside hope will help them do well this season.

The MSL senior first division side got off to a tough start, losing their first two games of the season to league favourites Castleview and Blarney. However, manager Michael Deasy is confident that his side will bounce back and push on for the remainder of the season.

“There’s no denying it was a very tough day at the office in our first game, but to be fair Castleview are a very good side and sometimes you have to hold up your hands and just take it,” said Deasy.

“We had a terrific reaction in training the next session so that’s good from the players. I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction to be honest. However, unfortunately, things didn’t go our way either against Blarney and we will regroup again this week ready for next weekend’s game.”

 Patrick O'Donoghue, Castleview, runs with pace at Leeside's defence. Picture: Larry Cummins
Patrick O'Donoghue, Castleview, runs with pace at Leeside's defence. Picture: Larry Cummins

Deasy, a former Rockmount player, is enjoying the managerial side of the game. Starting out with Midleton as assistant manager, here is where he learned a lot and has since brought his knowledge and experience with him to clubs such as Carrigtwohill United and Cobh Wanderers and now Leeside.

“I started off as assistant manager for Midleton for two seasons and learned a lot while there. Been on the management side of things is so different to been a player but I still got a great buzz from training and games.

“I then moved to Carrigtwohill United as manager and we got promoted and also to the AOH Cup final for the first and only time in club history. This was a memorable year and I enjoyed every minute of it.

“With different clubs, you gain a different experience and you get to work with different people, both players and other members of management. Every day is a learning curve and when success comes along it’s obviously a bonus.

“After a great year with Carrigtwohill, I got a phone call from Joe Stack to manage Cobh Wanderers. Straight away I was excited to get the opportunity to work with some brilliant players. We had a great two seasons winning two trophies and two runners-up in the premier division.

“We actually were in seven cup finals in two seasons including the biggest of all in the Aviva for the Intermediate FAI cup. What a day it was outside of the lottery of penalties.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time making some great friends, but like everything else in life, eventually it comes to an end.

“I had a little break and was delighted to be back since last summer when I took over Leeside. When I took over Leeside, it was basically starting from scratch. My main job was to get players into the club and also try to get some of the local talent back involved.

“We are a very young side, but they are great lads and eager to learn and improve which always helps. We are always trying to improve the squad and targeting some experience players also especially in key areas.

“We recently just signed Keith O’Flynn from Cobh Wanderers, he a very good player and will help us a lot. I said we still looking hard for more experienced players with the hope of signing at least another two players.

“The league is going to be so tough with all teams capable on their day of getting a result. Castleview for me are the team to beat. Mayfield and Blarney will be pushing them hard also this year. But we hope we can be up there challenging.”

They set targets at the start of the season, to be involved in the top half of the league and be in with a chance of promotion.

“I have a brilliant backroom staff of Packie O’Connor, Dave Ryan, Wayne Barrett, and Shane Carry.

“Packie is with me again after our spells with Carrigtwohill and Cobh Wanderers. He is a fantastic coach and we gel well together. Dave came with me from Cobh and he is brilliant for me also and is excellent with all the players. Wayne again helps me out a lot especially with any dealings we have with the club or MSL and he looks after the signing of players.

“We added Shane who is a long time servant to Leeside as a player, and like the rest of the lads, he helps out with so much.

“There is no way you can do this job without a good team around you and I’m so lucky to have this.

“We are all delighted to be back as we all missed it so much. I just hope the league will last the season and eventually with the chance of some supporters been allowed to watch games.

“We play Park next week at home and again I expect another tough encounter. We did manage to beat them last season 3-2 but there was very little between the sides and I expect roughly the same again this weekend.

“I can see the hunger in the lads and I know with the heart and determination, they will do well this season. As I said they are a young side so it is work in progress, but it is a challenge that we are all willing to work hard for, and we look forward to making progress for the remainder of the season.”

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