BACK on the Kells Road. Back as champions. It was a perfect way to end the season for Evergreen A boss Eddie McEvoy.
“We were a little nervous at the start,” he said following the 4-0 win over Freebooters B that confirmed his team’s coronation. “With a title at stake you’re bound to be a bit apprehensive, but I thought that in the end our football came through.”
Evergreen displayed a patient build-up which has been a big part of their season, but goals have always been there.
“When you have players like Joe Mulcahy, Jamie Owens, Chris Whearty and David Grincell there’s always going to be goals in your team,” he said. “Some of the football we’ve played has been unbelievable this season - I don’t think anyone could deny that. We are deserving champions.”
And winning the title means it’s three in a row for the club.
“Johnny Maclean won one for the club while the last two have been won under our team of Kevin Cashin, John Treacy and myself,” said McEvoy. “It’s been brilliant, for us as managers and the squad of players, to reach this achievement.”
Evergreen have also completed their hat-trick with a reshuffled, younger, pack.
“The average age of our team has really gone down in recent years,” the manager said. “Most of our players are under 25; they’re a big group of friends who hang around together.
“We’ve also lost a lot of players in the last few seasons,” he added. “We’ve lost Brian Holden, Michael and Mark Cashin, Mark Andrews. On top of that there’s several players from last season’s youths’ team - the likes of Ross King, Seanie Maguire, Lee Delaney - that’s the makings of a full team. There’s been a major change in personnel, but it’s brilliant that we’ve kept the winning ways about us.”
Despite all the changes Evergreen were always in the hunt for the league title. Outside competitions meant the club had to play catch-up, but they never let their final target slip from view.
“The number one priority for us each season is the league title,” McEvoy stated. “It’s the most important trophy to win. The outside competitions have been brilliant a, huge learning curve for a young squad, but your domestic competitions have to come first.
“People also forget that we went most of the season without playing on the Kells Road,” he added. “We’ve only had three matches here, which has been difficult for us. We got three home draws in the national competitions - Willow Park, Ballymun and Crumlin, but we played each game in Scanlon Park which didn’t really suit us.
“That’s my biggest regret of the season,” McEvoy admitted. “I would love to have gotten one of those teams out here on our pitch to see what we could have done. It wasn’t to be, but we’re home now - and as champions.”
That champions tag has come at a cost though, as McEvoy has had to fork out after making a bet with striker Joe Mulcahy.
“At the start of the season I made a bet that if Joey scored 50 goals then I’d buy him new boots,” he smiled. “This was the first season that he’s played as an out and out striker for us. When we came in he was starting as a winger, then played through central midfield, but we saw it in him that he was a striker so we played him up front.
“I said to him that he’d get a bag of goals by playing there and made that bet. He got his 50th on Sunday so he hit the target with a game to spare.
“It’ll cost me,” the manager added, “but it’s well worth it. Any player who gets 50 goals in any league has to be respected.”
So will the striker be submitting a list of bespoke boots to choose from?
“He’s getting a voucher for Champion Sports,” smiled McEvoy. “He can do what he wants with it!”