Castleview are having a great season with success on and off the pitch

A sports capital grant of 119,000 euro will help the club reach their ambitious development plans
Castleview are having a great season with success on and off the pitch

Castleview's Rodney Power brings together two of Cork's most famous soccer legends, Roy Keane and Patsy Freyne.

CASTLEVIEW AFC continues to grow as a club with tremendous work being done on and off the pitch. 

Their senior team were recently promoted to the top tier of football in the MSL, they won the first division league and they now have been awarded a €119k Sports Capital Grant from the Government.

Recently, I caught up with Rodney Power, now vice chairman of the club and here he tells us about the club's developments, the importance of the grant and his involvement with his beloved Castleview.

“I’ve been with Castleview Football club since I was 13 years-old, so it is safe to say that I hold Castleview very close to my heart,” said Power. "I’ve seen the club rise from the brink of extinction to become one of the biggest and best in Cork.

“It all began in 1988 when I first joined Castleview as a 13 year-old playing U17’s soccer. 

"By 1993, we had won the U18 league and I finished top scorer with 34 goals and Player of the Year award. 

"More importantly, that year I was persuaded by then Chairman Johnny Devereaux to join the Committee, a decision that would change my life forever. 

"While continuing my playing career, I became secretary in 1995 at 20 years old and in 1997, myself and two Committee members sat down and made a development plan. 

"We could never have envisaged the growth that would follow, with over €1 million being invested since then. 

"From one pitch in 1997, we currently have four full size grass pitches, one floodlit for night games, an all-weather training area and two grass training areas.

“By 2000, after five years as Secretary, the club was in danger of folding. 

"I decided to seek election as Chairman, not knowing what I was letting myself in for. 

"At 25, I became the youngest ever Chairman of Castleview, and held that position for almost 20 years. 

Castleview's wall of three - l to r, Rodney Power, Declan Sheehan and Nipper Meehan - face Kinsale free kick. AOH Cup (AUL), Castleview v Kinsale, O'Sullivan Park, 8 Mar 2003, Billy Lyons /Castleview v Kinsale Soccer 03
Castleview's wall of three - l to r, Rodney Power, Declan Sheehan and Nipper Meehan - face Kinsale free kick. AOH Cup (AUL), Castleview v Kinsale, O'Sullivan Park, 8 Mar 2003, Billy Lyons /Castleview v Kinsale Soccer 03

"Big changes were needed and new structures to ensure the club’s survival. I recruited some new young blood to the Committee and drew up a set of club rules. 

"Most importantly, I managed to secure a 99-year sporting lease with the Recreation, Amenity and Culture department of Cork City Council, safeguarding our pitches for further and future development. 

"Founding member Sean O’Leary was also elected President that year, a position not filled for decades. 

"Things were going well, but entering schoolboy’s soccer in 2002 was a big, risky decision for the club. 

"The great Dan Murray duly obliged as manager. From there, things just grew beyond our expectations. 

"As chairman, one of my best achievements was capturing the services of local League of Ireland legend Patsy Freyne. 

"Success followed, winning the Munster Senior League first Division 2004 and Premier title in 2005. 

"Currently, I am Vice Chairman but take charge of all development in the club.

“Further development is now needed at O’Sullivan Park and we were recently awarded €119k Sports Capital Grant from the Government. "Initially, we had been refused but appealed the decision successfully, thanks to Colm Burke TD and local Councillor Tony Fitzgerald. 

"A lot of unseen work goes into applying for these grants and Yvonne O’Shea has been a huge asset to Castleview in this regard. 

"The money awarded will build new dressing rooms and a clubhouse, where we can host visiting teams. 

"Also, Councillors Mick Nugent and Ken Collins have helped secure some vital funding for us. 

"The Dept. of Recreation, Amenity and Culture in the City Council have also been steadfast in their help and guidance for every development we have done. We feel that this kind of development will benefit all members but the children in particular.

“Our recent Senior League win is a great testament to Martin Cambridge, his management team and the players who have all put in tremendous work. 

"We’ve been knocking on the Premier League door for a few years but between Covid and a bit of bad luck, we just missed out. 

"It’s 2017 since we’ve been in the Premier Division and it feels great to be back at the top table where we feel we belong. 

U14 winners at the Castleview awards evening were Adam Nagle, Adam Tynan, and Jake Lynch, with club secretary Pat Cummins and chairman Rodney Power.
U14 winners at the Castleview awards evening were Adam Nagle, Adam Tynan, and Jake Lynch, with club secretary Pat Cummins and chairman Rodney Power.

"It was great to see the massive support when we won the league and old stalwarts like Willie Singleton, Deccie Meehan and Jimmy Cambridge celebrating.

“I think Management and Players are under no illusions that extra effort is needed next season to compete in the Premier Division. 

"I’m fairly sure Martin Cambridge, Ian O’Brien, Sean Long and Dessie O’Neill are already lining up a few new signings to help bolster the new campaign. 

"Facility improvements go hand in hand with on-the-field progression so we hope the new facility will help move the club forward as a whole.

“I feel playing in the Premier Division is much more attractive to the Castleview Youths coming forward. 

"With a better quality of football, it sets the bar higher for them but it also makes them work harder to make their way to the top.

“Going forward, I have great expectations for the club with new Chairman, Ciaran Meehan, doing stellar work. 

"He is a breath of fresh air for the Committee and has the red of Castleview running through his veins. 

"Along with new Committee members Keith O’Callaghan, Dylan Magee, Gemma Lynch and Joanne Crowley, Castleview is in safe hands. 

"Special mention to the different league management members who have been a great help to me over the years, Tony Fitzgearld (AUL), Tony Murphy (MSL), John Finnegan (MSL), Richie Browne (MFA) and especially Ger Delaney (MFA) who was great in my fledgling years. 

"In my 34 years with the club, I feel privileged to have worked with and been mentored by some legendary Castleview figures from the past like Seanie Leary, Connie Mullins, Mossy Sullivan and Liam Kent. 

"Not forgetting Mr.Castleview himself, Pat Cummins, who has been my right hand man from day one. 

"He is approaching 50 years as Club Treasurer which is an outstanding achievement. 

"Hopefully, I can follow in his footsteps and Castleview A.F.C. will continue to flourish in the heart of our beloved Northside.”

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