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Colts celebrate their first senior title

By Staff Reporter

IN just their second season in senior football, Carryduff Colts claimed the Newcastle League Division Two title on Saturday with a superb 7-1 win over Rathfriland Rangers.

Managers Chris Morgan and Ed Overend couldn’t hide their delight at clinching a first ever senior  title with two games still to go after achieving promotion from Division Three last season as runners-up.

“This is just reward for the hard work that has gone into putting this team together and then the efforts of all the players over the course of the season,” said Overend.

“We have won 17 of our 18 games this season, so no one can deny that we thoroughly deserved to win it.

“The boys proved on Saturday that they have the ability and belief to deliver on the big occasion and we are all absolutely delighted.”

Morgan, who has worked with many of the boys in the squad all the way through the age groups at the club, said:

“I’m very proud of all of them. They work hard in training, take on board what we try to pass on and the team spirit is fantastic.

“I am particularly pleased that a number of our opponents, referees and league officials have made comments to us about being impressed at the way the team tries to play football at all times and our discipline, and that is reflected in the number of goals we have scored. We like to play the game the right way and with these lads all in their late teens and early 20s there is great potential to take them on to the next level.

“It will be tougher next season at the higher level but we have more good players coming through the ranks and we will need to possibly bring in a few more older heads, but we have an exciting future ahead of us.”

Club chairman Eamon Deeny said he was particularly pleased at the large turnout on Saturday to support the team.

“It was fantastic to look along the side of the pitch and see such support, players and coaches from the under-age teams, mothers and fathers and friends – it just shows that this club has now established itself in the community and people take pride in what it has achieved,” said Deeny.

“We began as an underage club and debated long and hard about starting a senior team but decided that if we were going to invest so much in developing kids that we should provide somewhere for them to keep playing when they become adults. It looks like a great decision now.

“Special tribute should be paid to Ed Overend for his enthusiasm and passion which rubs off on everyone, while Chris Morgan is by far the best and most innovative coach I have seen.

“He could easily bring his skill to a much higher level and make it work and the players’ development has been down to him. He also works tirelessly with other age groups and his commitment is fantastic.

“I was manager of the first Colts team in 2003 when a certain 10-year-old Patrick McCullagh was involved. I’ve known him all his life so to see him come on and score in the second half made me feel so proud of him.

“Rory McDonnell and Joe Sweeney are also long serving stalwarts of the club and have been playing twice on Saturdays for most of the season, playing with my U18 team in the mornings.

“Chris Overend, captain Chris Curran and sub Glenn Roberts have all been around the club for a long time and have developed into very fine players. The lads who have signed for us from Castlewellan and travel to train and play for us every week also deserve a special mention along with the other lads from Carryduff who didn’t get the chance to play for us at underage level because they were too old.

“Saturday was a very special day and following on the U12s winning their league has made it a season to remember – and we hope the U17s can claim their league in the next couple of weeks. Considering we had never won a league title it is some achievement to win two leagues in one season and still be in real contention for a third. Let’s hope it is just the start of things to come for this club.”


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