THERE is no loyalty in sport and particularly in football.
A phrase which is used quite often when we speak about the beautiful game.
As a footballer myself, thankfully, the girls leagues have made it somewhat difficult for you to be switching clubs so frequently, and having played with Wilton for 29 years, I can vouch for loyalty for many a player.
But while the men’s game is slightly different, it was refreshing to catch up with a guy recently who has been a huge servant to his beloved club. He has played with the one club for 22 years and has loved every second of it.
Timmy Power, more affectionately known as Tucker, has played with his beloved Castleview since the age of four and through good and tough times, he has stayed loyal to the northside club and after five seasons in the first division, he now looks forward to being back playing in the top tier of football this season.
“Since Martin (Cambridge) has taken over, the goal has been to get the club back playing premier football and it’s fantastic to finally have done so,“ said Power.
"We narrowly missed out on promotion two years in a row and then we had covid stop the league twice when we were really in the mix to get promoted again.
"So for everyone in the club it’s been a long time coming and everyone is thrilled. Everyone was delighted.
"While there was great excitement at being promoted I think the way in which we won the league topped the excitement.
"Going to a play-off with Blarney and to win it along with securing premier football topped off a great season for us.”
So while it’s great to be back playing at the level they worked hard to get to, the father of one, who plays as a striker knows the hard work has only just began.
“We’re under no illusion as to how hard this season will be. We have prepared well for it.
"Pre-season has been tough as always. Lots of hard running and intense sessions. I think anyone that knows Martin knows how demanding he can be at this time of the season.
“Like most clubs, we’ve been busy strengthening our team. Goalkeeper Eoin Daly will be a huge addition to the squad.
"Defenders Jamie Geasley, Adam Higgins, Mark O’Donnell and Shane O’Connell who has just returned from playing in the States, all have been excellent throughout pre-season.
"Kelvin Connelly and Conor Nolan have also signed; they will be great additions to the attack.
“Apart from adding players, we needed to change a few things to deal with playing at a higher level.
"We needed to up the intensity levels and be that bit sharper on the ball but once we continue to work hard and are organised we should be fine.
“The core group of lads have all been with Castleview since we’re kids.
"However, over the years Martin has always added players to the team. All the lads fit right in which is great.
"We have a nice mix with some young players and some more experienced. We will take it game by game and work hard and give every team as good of a game as we can.
"I feel this year the league will be very competitive but we are looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
The long wait of returning to this level is over and for Power and his team mates, they plan on doing everything they can to keep the club competing at this level and they are confident they have the management to do so.
“I think if you ask any team that gets out of the first division they will tell you the same, it’s a very tough and physical league.
"No game is easy and you're going into each game battling for the points. I wouldn’t say it’s a huge aim for us to stay up.
"However, we’re not niave, that is the goal, to stay up and get a foothold in the league.
“Martin just lives for football, he is so invested in the team and wants the best for us players and the club.
"I have never seen a man more committed to the cause.
“Ian O’Brien is our coach, the guy is brilliant, his drills and knowledge of the game all have a purpose and a reasoning relating to each game which is brilliant and what you want from your coach.
“Sean Long is another coach who has been involved with the core of this team since we were kids.
"Sean really developed most of the team into the players they are today from a young age.
“Des O’Neill is our keeper coach, the keepers only have great things to say about his sessions, they also know not to get on his wrong side,” laughs Power.
“So overall I believe we have a great bond amongst players and Management which is really important.
"It’s exciting times at the club and we are really looking forward to getting started.”