MASSIVE celebrations are ongoing at Coachford as they completed the double on Friday with a win over Grattan to secure the AOH Cup title for the third time in the club’s history.
This, along with their AUL Premier League title, has made it a massive year for the club and I caught up with manager Donal Moynihan, who sums up what it means to all involved to win such a prestigious trophy like the AOH.
“It’s been a fantastic season really, winning the Premier Division which was the main goal at the beginning of the year, having the club’s best-ever run in the Munster Junior cup and of course completing the double with the AOH on Friday,” said Moynihan.
“There have been some great highs and of course, a few bumps along the way but I couldn’t be prouder of the team. It’s a massive occasion for all involved at the club.”
In the club’s 53-year history, it had only ever won the Premier Division once before this season and the AOH Cup twice, in 1993 and 2005.
To win both this year is an incredible achievement and one in which Moynihan and backroom staff take serious pride in.
“For us to do the double this year is incredible and we are all very proud of the hard work from players and committee members. The league will always be my own priority but winning the AOH has a special place in so many club members’ hearts and I’m delighted we managed it.
“There is an outstanding bunch of players there, hugely focused, extremely dedicated with a desire to win trophies.
“We won the league with 15 wins and one draw from 16 games. In terms of competitiveness, Grattan United were right with us until the last two games so there was no let-up until the end.
Unfortunately, there were some walkovers and in the top division of the league that should not be happening and something that will hopefully change.
"I do appreciate how Covid played its part and maybe it was more difficult for others to get back up and running after a prolonged period, but with teams like Glenthorn, Grattan, Village, and City Wanderers it will always be a competitive league.
“There were a good few great moments throughout the season and apart from winning the league we had some fantastic displays in the Munster Junior in particular.
“It’s funny in such a successful season to pick out a defeat as one of the highlights but going toe to toe with a team like St Michael’s in the semi-final and just missing out, certainly is something I look back on with disappointment but also a lot of pride in the way the team performed.”
Moynihan is part of history at the club now with two league winners medals and although nine years apart, the Ballincollig man assisted Mick Walsh in the club’s first.
“I was assistant manager to Michael Walsh in 2013 when we won Coachford’s only other Premier title with a fantastic team. I’d have taken a lot from Mick who is an excellent manager and being part of a lot of Coachford success.
“My involvement has been as a player and manager starting off playing with the youths team, the only underage team Coachford had.
From there I captained the second team in 1995 when we won the President’s Cup, at the time I was 18 and probably thought I’d be winning trophies every year.
“Between living abroad for a couple of years and living in Dublin it was 2007 before I was back in Cork full-time again. I played a good bit with the club when I was living in Dublin and down for weekends but you’re not training with the team and missing games so it’s not the same really.
“I played with and managed the second team in 2007-08 and we won the President’s Cup. I took over as manager of the Premier team for one year in 2010 but as a team, we were a bit off it and as manager, I’d have to say I was well off it, we stayed up on the last day of the season thankfully.
“Myself and Ciaran Lucey took this over together in 2019. He really has driven this over the last few years as much as anyone. He was one of Coachford’s standout players for a 15-year period and has brought the same passion to management whether that be in a coaching capacity for this team or his overall appreciation of the club.
“Sean Delaney has been with us since 2020 and he does an awful lot of the less visible work maybe from an administration and logistics standpoint but also has a very strong knowledge of the game and more than happy to voice his opinion, he is a fantastic asset to our management group.
“Colm Grady is long-time club player and has also been with us since 2020 and has done a lot of work in all aspects of coaching. Unfortunately, work has taken Colm to the States for the last couple of months.
“Joe Ronan and Ken Hogan have also been there to help with coaching at different times over the last three years. Danny Boy O’Connell also does a huge amount of work with the grounds and equipment for us which makes everything easier.
“We all have played for the club and it’s great that we are having some success, but the reality is we are only facilitating the desire that comes from this particular group of players to be successful. Seven of the current squad were part of an excellent U19 team managed by Paddy Martin and Liam Casey in 2020 which shows the great work being done at underage. Long may it continue.”