SITTING second in the table in the Munster Senior League First Division, Castleview have hopes of promotion, but manager Martin Cambridge is cautious.
“It’s early days, so nothing has been decided yet, with plenty of teams fighting for promotion,” said Cambridge.
The UEFA A licence holder joined Castleview in 2017, after a few successful years at Cobh Ramblers. His aim for Castleview is to get the club back playing Premier.
Since his time at the northside club, he has made massive strides but hopes to go one step further this season and gain promotion.
“I have been with Castleview since 2017 and, from the beginning, my goal was to settle the team and build their confidence, with the aim to be promoted to Premier,” Cambridge said.
“My goal is still the same now as it was then and I have a lot of confidence in the team we have.”
With six wins from seven, Cambridge is pleased with the start of what he believes to be a very competitive league.
“The standard is very strong this season, with everyone fighting for something. There are no soft games.
“There is a very good standard from all the teams we have played so far and that is what you want.
“Already, we have had some very competitive games, but we have done really well. However, I would say Everton was one of our best games, with a narrow 3-2 win.
“We were down to 10 men for most of that game, so that was a great three points for us. Our one loss was 3-2 to league leaders, Blarney United, so that was disappointing, but a lot of positives to take from it.
“There are no real surprises in the league positions, at the moment, to be honest,” Cambridge said. “It’s pretty much what I expected. However, Bandon are doing very well, getting some good results.
“It’s fantastic to have so much competition, as it makes training more competitive; also because we need the high tempo at all times.
What also increases the tempo at training is the competition for places on our squad.
“We have a very strong panel, with a lot of great players. We are a very young team, but eager young fellas who have come through the club and who will be here for a long time.
“Conor O’Mahony is our captain, Jason Magee, Sean O’Driscoll, Patrick O’Donoughe, Timmy Power, David O’Keeffe, Kieran Kavanagh, Stewie Murphy, Corey Crowley have all been with the club since they were young kids.
“Podge has been our leading goalscorer since I have been at the club.
“Defensively, we look solid, to be honest, with Ben Graham and Shane Hogan, they are two great ’keepers and add to that the addition of Padraig Flynn will keep them on their toes.
“The defenders, Ian McConville, Gerry Kelleher, Corey Crowley, Dean Leahy, Stewie Murphy, Dane Holland, and David Golden are rock-solid defenders. Jason Magee, Jasper, Evan Murray, and Kyle Lynch are workaholics in midfield.
“With the likes of Podge, Kiwi, Cuffy, Tucker, Owen Ryan, and Docka, you would always have a chance upfront,” Cambridge said.
“We also have good youths in Sean O’Mahony, Owen O’Connell, and Jake Murray. Jordan cuff has come back to us and Liam O’Leary has returned from Cobh Rambler’s U19s, so, overall, I think we have a great balance all over the pitch and it’s a pleasure to be managing them, and we, as a coaching staff, are very happy with the squad.”
Like most great managers, Cambridge likes to surround himself with great coaches and club men.
And he believes their knowledge and experience will be key to helping his side gain promotion.
My main aim, since coming to Castleview, is to gain promotion. We are a very competitive side and that is driven not only by me, but by my great coaching staff.
“Ian O Brien is assistant manager and first-team coach, who has a wealth of experience and knowledge.
“Sean Long keeps everyone in check. He is responsible for a lot that happens in the club; he is very important to us all at the club.
“Our goalkeeping coach is Dessie O’Neill, while Henry Cullen and James Nagle are also part of the coaching staff. We, as a staff, know how tough this league is and we are under no illusions that we will have any easy game.
“To win promotion would be massive for the club and that is the focus.
”Some of our players have been playing together since the age of eight, so to see them improve each season in their quest to gain promotion to the Premier division is great.
“The first season I was at the club we finished third in the league and the Keane Cup final.
“We narrowly missed out on promotion my second year, so let’s hope we can achieve our aim this year.
“We are a big club and the whole of Castleview is hoping and aiming to be back playing Premier.”