CORDUFF FC’s Under-11 Premier side completed one half of their double chasing ambitions last Saturday as they wrapped up the NDSL Premier Division title with a 2-0 win over Balscadden Boys in Corduff Park.
The promising side can now turn their attention to the Haughey Premier/A Cup final against Darndale on May 17 in the Oscar Traynor which could result in a double in their first season of competitive football.
Speaking to GazetteSport a couple of days after his young side were crowned league champions, team manager Daniel Herbert said it was almost a relief that they can finally call themselves champions after a long season begins to wind down.
“It’s a bit of a relief to be honest,” he said. “That’s not to say I was overly worried or anything, as I’ve known for a long time that we were good enough to win this league but it’s nice to be able to say we’re the champions.”
The title was confirmed with a win over a Balscadden side who provided the only defeat that Corduff have suffered in the league this season, beating the Blanch boys 3-0 in November. Herbert was asked if this caused any nerves going into Saturday’s game.
“There was a few yeah,” he replied. “When we played them earlier on and they beat us, they looked really strong and would actually have been my favourites to win the league back then.
“But, since Christmas, in all of the crunch games we’ve had, the lads have really stepped up, beating the likes of Rivervalley Rangers who are second, Ratoath Harps in the cup, and Darndale in the league, who we’ll play in the cup final.
“Also in the cup semi-final, we played Rivermeade, who are top of the division below us and it was another big test but the lads came out on top.”
Herbert has worked with the team for three years now, but this season was their first opportunity to chase silverware in competitive fashion, and the up-and-coming squad have adapted well.
“It’s a credit to the hard work the players have put in. They’re a great squad to work with and we hope to be successful for many years going forward.”
Some additions to the squad have played a key role in the side’s first year of competitive football, especially bringing in two players who had already had a taste of it, which Herbert explained.
“We made three big additions this year, two of which were lads who came down to us from our older team, and they made a big difference.
“But all three that we added played their part, as well as the core group that have been there for a number of years.”