James Lee lifts the FAI intermediate cup trophy with Crumlin in 2015. Picture: David Maher/Sportsfile

LUCAN United have pulled off the transfer coup of the Leinster Senior League off-season with the capture of the decorated midfielder James Lee from Crumlin United.
The 32-year-old will bring a weight of experience to John Doyle’s side, having been part of a Crumlin team that won five Sunday Senior titles and four FAI Intermediate Cups in his ten years there.
He links up with his former Dublin Bus teammates Alan McGovern, who coaches at Lucan, and Sean Nolan, after Doyle sold him on his plan to take the club up from Senior 1A.
“We’ve played one friendly at the weekend – we beat the Guards 7-0 – and it looks promising. There’s still work to do on it. John wouldn’t be shy in saying that,” Lee told GazetteSport.
“A few good players there have already impressed me quite a lot, but he has a bit of recruitment to do. As I said to him, if I make the move I at least want to challenge for promotion.”
He won’t be the only leader in the dressing room as ex-Shelbourne man Mark Rutherford still patrols the left wing at the ripe age of 45 – “my god, what a man,” says Lee.
There’ll be no link-up with former Crumlin midfield partner Martin Cramer, who decided to call it a day at the end of the last season, but not before encouraging his friend to sign up.
Apart from a short spell with hometown club Collinstown last season, Lee has spent the whole of the last decade with Martin Loughran’s Crumlin.
And he leaves with the blessing of Loughran, who recognised the player he brought in from Esker Celtic in 2007 was ready to move on to a new challenge.
“Martin almost felt disgusted that I was taking that decision last year. He told me, ‘you’re making the wrong move – you’ll be back’. And, ultimately, he was right.
“When I made the move last year, I felt, ‘did I make the right decision here?’ My mind was more clouded last year. It’s clear in my mind that it’s the right time.”
Lee’s most enjoyable time at Crumlin was the 2010 season, when one of the best sides Sunday Senior has seen won the league and three cups – not bad considering he almost didn’t sign up.
“The standout season was the 2010 one where we cleaned up. We got to four finals and won the league – we lost one of the finals.
“Probably the best squad ever seen in the Leinster Senior League, I’ve heard from a lot of people before my time.
“It was June 2007 I joined Crumlin, after agreeing a handshake to join Bluebell. I wasn’t feeling it at Bluebell and once I went up and did one training session with Crumlin, I signed straight away.
“That said, the Bluebell manager at the time, Liam Reilly, wasn’t too impressed when he got the phone call!”