COLLEGE Corinthians picked up their second trophy this season when they recently defeated UCC in the Donie Forde Cup final in Turner's Cross.
This is their second trophy of the season having already secured the Keane cup with a victory over Rockmount in the final and while their league form isn’t great, coach Austin O’Connor is pleased with how the season is going.
“Obviously we are disappointed not to be contesting the league title but nonetheless we are happy with how the season is going for us,” said O’Connor.
In his fourth season with the Douglas-based club, the father of three from Togher has enjoyed his time to date working alongside fellow Togher man, Corinthians manager Joe Gamble.
“This is my fourth season with the club, although we will only be finishing our second season due to the Pandemic. However, I am really enjoying working with great people and players and hopefully, we can pick up more silverware before the end of the season.”
The former Cobh Ramblers player enjoyed a great career himself as a player, but coaching was something he always had an interest in, so after hanging up his boots this was the next step for him and he is enjoying his role.
“I always knew I would get involved with coaching as it’s great to stay involved in the game in some capacity. I enjoyed playing and had some fantastic years and great memories with all the teams I played for.
"I always knew coaching is something I’d love to get involved with and have the opportunity to pass on my knowledge of the game to the next generation of players. So as a coach while trying to develop players, we also want to develop the person, and help them to create memories like we did as players.
“I started playing soccer at an early age with Collegeview. I played my schoolboy and youth football with a very strong Tramore Athletic team winning a few trophies along the way. I went and played with Cobh Ramblers after youth football for two seasons and I went back to Cobh again a few years later for a second stint for another two years.
"I was lucky enough to play with some great clubs along the way including Midleton where we won back to back league titles and cups and Everton where I was part of a side that won the league and played in an Intermediate Cup final in Turner's Cross.
"I played with Togher Rovers for a few years where my dad Paddy and brothers Patrick and Paul were involved and they were fantastic times. I have been lucky enough to meet lots of great people through soccer and I hope to continue to do so while in my role as a coach.”
O’Connor began coaching 15 years ago and has gained invaluable experience and knowledge along the way. As the current coach to Corrinthians it is evident his knowledge and experience has been a huge asset to the club.
“I have been involved in management and coaching roles for the last 15 years since I stopped playing. I have coached for and with some great people in that time. I have done some courses in that time also in various areas from the SAQ system to nutrition for sport and I currently have the National C License.
"The thing I love in my coaching role with College Corinthians is being out on the field with the lads which is as close to playing as I can get because you can't beat the buzz from playing.
“This season has been going well. It was fantastic for all of us to win our second trophy of the season and to play at the Cross is always great. Penalties are not good for the heart but exciting for the spectator and to be fair Shane Sherlock was brilliant in goal, saving three of the first four penalties.
"We got off to a tremendous start with Shane Daly Butz scoring in the first minute. UCC then came into the game for a while but we finished the first half well. UCC were the better team in the second half and deserved to equalise but we still had a great chance to win the game towards the end of the second half."
The extra time was a leggy affair for both teams but experience kept them in the game.
"And it was great to get the win.
“We are disappointed that we cannot contest to win the league this year. Our league form at the start of the season was poor but we have picked up pace and our form is good at the moment with a few good additions to the squad. We have two more cups to play for: the Beamish Cup and the O’Connell Cup and we will be doing our utmost to go as far as possible in both.
“But for now, our aim is to be as competitive as we can in every game and to finish the league strong and just to continue developing and progressing each individual player.”