HE won the league for the sixth time in his career recently and it feels as special as the very first one.
Rockmount captain Ken Hoey lifted the Munster Senior League Premier trophy at Rockmount Park after their win over Cobh Wanderers and here he tells us what it meant to everyone involved in the club.
“To win the league is a huge honour for us and while it is my sixth time in doing so, it felt as special as the first. To be able to help put Rockmount back up there where they belong is a proud moment for us. And huge credit goes to so many people across the club, too many to mention.
“It was good to finish the league on Wednesday night with two games to go so the management and players could turn their attention to next Saturday when we play Bluebell in the Intermediate Cup final which will be played in Turner’s Cross.”
Rockmount are unbeaten in the league this season, winning three and drawing two and the hope is that they can finish the season without a loss.
“It would be a massive achievement to go the entire season unbeaten. We’ve done it in previous seasons so there is a great chance we can do it again. That’s an aim of ours anyhow but for the moment, all focus is on this Saturday's Intermediate cup final.”
Already the winner of two Intermediate Cup medals, the father of three to Lauren, Kyle and Jay, is hoping for the third success and as captain.
“To captain one of Ireland's biggest clubs is a proud moment for me every time I go out with the jersey on. Whether it’s a local league or cup game or a National Cup game it makes no difference to me. I try to do the same job and lead the team as best I can.
"That will be the same on Saturday. I hope to win my third National cup medal and to do it as captain will obviously be that little bit extra special for my family.”
While they were a little disappointed that the final was moved from the Aviva, the 40-year-old defender is hoping that the home Cork support can be of huge help to the team.
"Hopefully, a huge crowd will come out for us and be our 12th man on the day.
“We have a nice mix of great young lads and experienced lads at the moment which is needed to win trophies and hopefully the team can kick on from this and win a lot more in the coming years."
Having a top-class management team helps.
“Eddie and his backroom staff are excellent to be fair. I think Eddie got the right men around him when he came in. Ethan is a great coach and has great knowledge of the game which is huge to making Rockmount a better team.
"Derek is one in a million that man could be at the ground hours before players arrive to make sure everything is done to perfection for the player and to get things ready for his babies, the goalkeepers, for the warm-up and you could bet your life on it he is the last man out of the ground as well.
"Monty and Alan are both successful players who played for the club and have huge experience and knowledge of what to get out of the players when they cross the white line and that has been a huge asset to the squad.
“Sean came in and took to it like a duck to water. He has great experience and a great eye of soccer in Cork and his input into the players before games is always appreciated.
“When Billy stepped away he wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t think he was leaving it in good hands.
"Eddie was with Billy for years and learned how one of the country’s top Managers operated and I think that time under Billy has made him a strong and confident, ambitious manager and his drive to bring more to the club has him doing his coaching badges which has proven to be vital for the club.”
So while the focus is on Saturday's Intermediate Cup final, Hoey hopes his side can have more success before the end of the season.
“If you told the management, players, and our committee that we would win the league at the start of the season we would have taken that as a great year but there is more on the table now so we need to park that awhile and go for the biggest trophy at this level.
“There is a great buzz around the club at the moment and games like this are what you want to be involved in at this time of the season. We’ve done brilliantly to get there but now we want to win it. I believe we’re good enough and I know it will be a tough challenge against an excellent side but hopefully, we can perform to the best of our ability and top of a great season.”