Celtic’s unbreakable Bond

by Karl Graham

OLIVER Bond Celtic manager Eddie Keogh says their Frank Roe Cup victory last weekend has given their while community a huge boost in just their first year since formation.
Their 2-0 win over Woodlawn Sportslink at the AUL Complex, coupled with finishing second in the AUL Division 3 Saturday to gain promotion, has given the area something positive to shout about.
Oliver Bond started the final strongly and went ahead after just 10 minutes when top scorer Martin Luby headed home.
They were looking good but Woodlawn responded well to going behind and started to get a foothold in the game. They created numerous chances but found Robbie McGee in excellent form in the Oliver Bond goal.
It was a tight game but the score remained 1-0 going into the break.
Woodlawn came out determined in the second half and threw everything at their opponents in a desperate bid to draw level. However, their efforts left space at the back for ‘The Bond’ to counter attack into.
This threat eventually paid dividends as substitute James Smith popped up at the back post with five minutes remaining and headed the ball past the keeper.
The goal completed a remarkable season for the team who are made up entirely of players from the local flats.
“We didn’t even get a pre-season in,” Keogh told GazetteSport. “There was a talk between me and my friends and there is a local team in the area already but they have no local players playing.
“There had been a few bad things happening around the area over the last couple of years such as the deaths of young people. So it was just an idea to get everyone out and to the matches. It blew up from there.
“At the start, everyone doubted us because they were all young fellas from the flats and it wouldn’t last but the season started and they saw us winning. We got a private pitch, sponsors and tracksuits – everybody wanted to be part of it. I think [personal trainer] Keith Coleman made a big difference for us, he was the glue that kept us all together.”
Despite this, Keogh knows it could a few years to build themselves a positive reputation amongst the football community.
“A couple of refs said to me they were sent out to watch how we were playing. On a positive note, it has probably been the best year of my life – apart from having my kids! The boys are all friends so it has done great things for them as well.”
As for next season, the team were offered first division football but Keogh declined the invitation as he wants to build the team gradually, and announced they would be playing with two teams next season – such is the demand from players to get involved.

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