THERE have been several great Cork soccer teams over the years.
Too many to mention here, but one of them was the great Castleview team of the 1960s.
They dominated most of the local competitions and came very close on the national front with Swilly Rovers beating them in the FAI Junior Cup final.
There were a lot of great players who played with the View in that period of success when the commitment was a lot different than today’s game.
Seanie O’Leary and Davey Morris were capped for the Irish junior team in that period, however, many more of their players could have represented their country as they had the skills, but could not make the commitment because of work commitments.
Former player and captain Declan Meehan recalls the highs and lows during the very exciting time for the northside club.
“We had a fantastic team at the time, however, at the time you could only play 11 players, so you had no substitutes. If you got dropped you simply didn’t play, and that was devastating,” Declan said.
“At the start of the '60s we had a great run in the FAI Junior Cup and played Swilly Rovers in the final.
“We traveled with plenty of confidence, and had the great Paddy O’Brien in goal with Jack McHale and Denis Bennett in front of him, and they were very good operators at the back.
“We also had excellent players like Jimmy Frawley, Eddie King, Robert Buckley, Maurice Caulfield, Seanie O’Leary, and Davie Morris, and any of those players would have walked into any side.
“However, we were very unlucky and lost out 1-0 to a very good Swilly Rovers team on the day.”
When you have a very good team that would often would mean that there were some very good men in the management team.
This team were no different as the View had Micheal Wall, Nedzer Doherty, Jerry Sheehan and Joe (Las Vegas) O’Leary at the helm in those successful years.
“The selection committee had a very difficult time picking a team as we carried no passengers.
“If you lost your place in the team it could be weeks before you got a game again.
“On many occasions, I had to cycle from Cobh to Church Road, play a game, and cycle back to Cobh to work because if I didn’t go, it meant I wouldn’t play for weeks again.
“Micheal Wall was very strict one, Nedzer Doherty always had the knack of signing great players, Jerry Sheehan was always very cool on match days. Joe O’Leary was the character of the team, as he was a well-known singer in the northside.
“The players would often slag him that he was only part of the management because he was a great singer because if we lost on the pitch, we would definitely win the singsong after games,” Declan recalls with a mighty laugh.
The View got to the final of the Munster Junior Cup final in 1967 were they came up against Clonmel Bohs from Tipperary.
“We got to the Munster Junior Final were we played Clonmel Bohs. We had great support in those days, and four busloads of supporters left the Ascension Church for that game.
“Paddy Corcoran was the main organiser on the day giving out flags and rosettes, however, they came back disappointed as we lost 1-0.
”The following year we won everything in Cork, but the best memory for me was when I captained the team to beat Ringmahon Rangers 3-1 to win the AOH Cup with Robert Buckley scoring two goals, and Davie Morris the other goal.
“They were great days with some great players and friends some who have passed away recently, however, we still have those fond memories to remember in these difficult times at the moment,” Declan added.