THE EMOTION, drama and excitement of the league triumph finally got to Dubliner Steven Beattie at Turner's Cross on Tuesday.
He explained that it was hard to put into words just what it all means to the Cork City squad to end a 12-year wait for the championship.
“It means so much to those lads in the dressing room and to all the staff and obviously the fans that it is hard to put into words.
"It’s great to finally get over the line and be crowned league champions, and we have another big day out to come when we play Bray back here on the last day of the season and we get presented with the actual trophy.
“And, of course, we have an FAI Cup final to look forward to on Sunday, November 5 up against Dundalk and both clubs looking to do a double of their own,” said ‘Beatts’ as the significance of it al began to sink in.
“We had lads from around the country coming together and coming to Cork with the same objective of winning a league title and we have done it now.
"We got a taste of it last year when we won the FAI Cup and when we reported back in for pre-season last January, the league was the top priority.
“We have been watching Dundalk do it for three years on the bounce so it’s a bit emotional now that we have done it and we have crushed Dundalk’s four in-a-row bid,” said the Skerries man.
“It’s amazing to see where we have come from because half-way through the season we lost our top scorer Seanie Maguire and Kevin O’Connor to Preston and we had to cope with skipper Johnny Dunleavy’s bad injury.
“This team hasn’t had it easy - Seanie is an Irish international now - and it’s hard to replace a man who gets you 20 plus goals a season.
"It’s been remarkable but we pitched in, we got Kieran Sadlier in from Sligo Rovers and all the boys stepped up to the plate.
“Some criticised us saying that we hit a dip in form and we were not the same team without Seanie (Maguire) but listen we have just been crowned league champions for the first time in over a decade and that’s a wonderful feeling for a footballer.
"It was a real team and a squad effort.
"It hurt us to lose those three key men but that’s only natural."