Stephen Ray is back in charge of St Vincent's PIFC team for 2021

Stephen Ray is back in charge of St Vincent's PIFC team for 2021

St Vincent's team manager Stephen Ray (left) with selector David Ray

St VINCENT'S will welcome back Stephen Ray as manager of their Premier Intermediate football side for the coming season.

Ray has been involved with the northside club for his entire career.

Despite a sluggish start to the last campaign they finished with a stunning win over Naomh Aban following defeats to Knocknagree and Cill na Martra.

For the Vincent’s hard-working secretary getting back to the field of play will be very welcome for all concerned.

“I think last season was strange as we were slow into our stride in the championship but credit to Stephen and the lads they continued to work hard and in our last game we played our best football of the campaign against a highly rated Naomh Aban side,” said Tom O’Driscoll.

The Saints Runai believes the commitment of Stephen Ray will eventually pay dividends.

“He was a resilient player who gave has given incredible service to our club and you could see last season the players were improving with every outing and we are looking forward to a much-improved season.

“Stephen has a good management team in his brother David, John Daly and Roger McNamara and they all work well together.” 

The Saints are also competing in the Seandun Junior A football championship and Derek O’Connor will be at the helm for coming season.

Hurling has been a disappointment for St Vincent’s over many years and Tom was philosophical in summing up his clubs demise.

“When we were strong in hurling the North Mon and Farranferris supplied us many players but they are no longer supplying us the players they once did and basically we are struggling for numbers.” 

Now competing in the Junior A Seandun division Tom believes the strength of opposing teams in that championship hasn’t helped their cause but he has no doubt manager Barry Coutts will put in a huge effort with the team.

“When you had Mayfield and Brian Dillons it was tough as these clubs had very good teams and now you have Nemo Rangers and Passage so you could say it has been a tough ride for us making an impression in this championship.” 

The present pandemic is showing some positive signs of a revival with the juvenile section back training in pods and Tom is hoping that the adult section follows sooner than later.

“I am probably repeating what every other club secretary is saying as the players are determined to get back training and hopefully that will be upon us in the coming weeks.” 

The work that Vincent’s do in the Knocknaheeney and Hollyhill communities is commendable and Tom paid tribute to his fellow officers and many volunteers within the club.

“We have a number of juvenile teams and that takes a lot of organising and indeed the coaches throughout our club do amazing work that is very much appreciated by many families in our community.”

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