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Midleton AFC Photographs

Captain Barry Cullinane, who has helped Knockavilla Celtic rise from AUL 3 to the top flight of AUL football, had a magnificent season and was voted the Players’ Player of the Year, another confirmation that he has the respect and admiration of the players he trains and plays with.

Top goalscorer Rob Walsh, a natural marksman, capped another excellent season by finishing with 20 league goals and another 11 in the cup. Rob's season ended on high when he was called up to the Cork AUL squad for the Keane Cup where he did well over the two games and didn’t do his chances of making the Oscar Traynor squad for next season any harm.

Brian Crowley was honoured with the Young Player of the Year Award while the Commitment Award went to the ever loyal Jason Flynn.
Pat McCarthy was outstanding this season and showed heart, determination, character and sheer desire to win. There were moments when Pat, never one to shy out of a tackle and always able to pick a pass, grabbed games by the scruff of the neck. Besides, he is also well able to take a goal. No wonder he was voted the Overall Player of the Year.

“Having a panel of 22 was one of the most significant reasons we were able to win the AUL Premier A league this season,” said manager Niall O’Regan. That allowed him the facility to play different players in different roles, knowing that the players on the line were equally as good as the players on the park.

“To have 22 lads dedicated to the team and to me personally as their manager was one of the greatest rewards for me this season. The newcomers, Paul Moloney in goal, Aidan Daly in the back four, midfielder Sean Holland and striker Alan Jeffers were major influences throughout the season.”

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Criostóir and Patsy for their great efforts throughout the year and the support they showed me during the season was very important. As this was my first managerial position it was a great feeling winning the league but more so watching the players receive the trophy; knowing how far the lads had come in one season through listening and trusting my judgement was a big reward for me.”

“I came in to the club at the start of the year with a good coaching record but limited managerial experience and I’d like to thank the club for giving me the opportunity to manage the team which was a requirement for my coaching certificate. I’d like to thank all at Knockavilla who supported the team this year and thank the club for the experience gained and also for taking the risk in putting a 26 year old manager in charge
of their team.”

“The strongest performance this season was the game against Castleview which came in the run-in just after an awful defeat to Macroom. The team could have dropped their heads and lost the title but they showed great character and strength not once but twice in that game and it finished 2-2. That meant the three points at home in the next game won the title and meant we didn't need anything from our last match away to challengers Village.”

“The high point was defeating Premier team Leeside on penalties in the AOH Cup. It was a great result against a really good footballing side and the highlight here was the three great shootout saves from Paul Moloney. But the low point soon followed when, again in the AOH, we allowed a two goal lead slip before losing in extra time to Glenthorn.”

Chairman’s Angle

Criostóir O’Crualaoi was elected Chairman of Knockavilla Celtic five years ago, when they were playing in the AUL third division.

“I remember Secretary Tom Powell reassuring me by saying you'll be grand and off we went on our epic journey. We were in the third division AUL. That year we won promotion to division 2. We won division 2 comfortably and wondered about the massive step up to 1st division football.”

“This was the year this Knockavilla team showed their true character. We won the County cup, St Michael's Cup and league promotion. We now found ourselves playing Premier A football and the plan was to stay up. With three games left we needed seven points to avoid relegation and again this team showed true spirit wining all three games.”

“Last year, under the management of Niall O’Regan this team again proved to be something special and stormed through the Premier A division. Winning this league is the highest achievement to date and we will relish the challenge of Premier football.”

“I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the following people: Patsy White, Mrs Crowley, Peter Nyhan, Sean O’Connell, Downs Centra, Brian Murphy, Mervyn Beasley, Michael Lynch, Crossroads Bar, Keohane Builders, Tim O’Sullivan and Ross Oil for their help and sponsorship during the year. Without our sponsors, it would not be possible to run the club.”