FOUNDING member and current manager of Parkview Celtic Ger Crowley has steered his side to the club's first cup final.
On Sunday, Parkview will come up against Grangevale in the City Challenge Cup decider which will be played in Turner's Cross, which kicks off at 11.30am.
Crowley is delighted to be part of this historic occasion. It's been an exciting journey for the club and it would be even more special if they could land their first trophy.
“It’s a huge achievement for the lads to reach the cup final and everyone involved with the club is excited about the game.
"However the hard work started many years ago and there are many people who have played their part in this historic game which will be played on Sunday.
“It all started as the old Youghal Carpets Yearns team 20 years ago before the company closed its doors. Jack Higgins and myself were past employees of Youghal Years and Roger O'Connell who is now the current chairman but is also a founding member and was a player at the time.
"We are currently known as Parkview Celtic which was established in 2003 currently based in Garryduff pitch in Rochestown."
Playing in the AUL Division 2, Crowley knows his side will need to be at their best to beat Division 1 outfit Grangevale. However, good performances to get to this stage has given the lads huge confidence, in particular their semi-final win over Division 1 side UCC.
“The cup competition is known as the City Challenge Cup for teams in Division 1, 2 and 3 around the city. En route to the final we beat Shandon Celtic 4-3, Grattan United 3-2 after extra-time and UCC from Division 1 in the Farm on penalties after a very intense game.
"This was a great achievement and will give the lads confidence going forward. Grangevale will no doubt be a tough test however we've shown before in the cup we can beat teams from the division above so we won’t be overly concerned."
Everything is a bonus for them at this stage.
"We’re the underdogs so we won’t be under any real pressure and I think the lads can go out and enjoy it that little bit more and hopefully we can repeat our good performances and secure the victory.
“The current team have been together for almost five years with a mixture of old guard Dave Goulding, our centre-half, goalkeeper Alan 'Bubbles' Murphy, who both performed outstandingly in getting us to this final, especially the semi-final.
"We also have a strong international base in the squad with lads from Spain, Italy and Portugal followed by some youth.
"All of this has given us a very strong foundation and given us the opportunity to do something special on Sunday and going forward.”
The 45-year-old father of two from Silversprings began his first stint at management back in October and to be in a cup final so soon has exceeded his expectations.
“The lads contacted me back in October about taking over as manager so I have only been involved since then after being away for seven years.
"I've really enjoyed it as it is my first stint at management of a soccer club and it’s unbelievable to be in a cup final.
"While I'm only back a few months, I've really been there from the start as a Youghal Carpet Yearns employee before it closed its doors and we became Parkview Celtic.
"I was the striker for 12 or 13 years before injury and age caught up with me and it’s great to be back in a different role and I am really enjoying it. To be in the cup final is fantastic for all involved.
“Like myself, there are others who do trojan work for the club and have done over the years.
“Roger O'Connell, founding member and past player is the current chairman of Parkview Celtic. Jack Higgins is a founding member and past player, Dave Coughlan, the treasurer is a current player, Ricky Parker, is secretary and still a player, and Paul Gallagher, the coach and current player.
"Special mention to Paul as his enthusiasm and energy has only driven this team on since I came onboard as manager and he is an integral part of this team with his super fitness and tactical sessions.
“Dylan Forde, previous manager, and Bob Forde, former coach, put in great effort in achieving a solid foundation. There is very good team morale there so why can't we push on and do something really special this year out in the Cross."
It would be a fitting way to pay tribute to those who have gone before the current crop.
“Our captain Sean O’Donnell and vice-captain Kevin Curran are exceptional guys who inspire the team week on week and everyone at the club are grateful to have these lads.
“I would also like to mention our sponsors CBC Motors, Ryngs Blinds, D2K events and Audivox Hearing. We really appreciate their support and would like to thank them and hopefully, we can repay them this weekend by winning some silverware.”