“Ian Cleary’s goal reminded me of the goal George Best scored in the European Cup Final against Benfica.”
Wayne Fitzgerald was voted Man of the Match and the Carrick midfield player was needless to say a very happy man after the game. “Listen, we have been working so hard for this you would not believe it. The club is in a period now where this is the only cup that matters to us. We have put everything into winning this cup down through the years and we have been knocking on the door for too long.
“We have another chance now and we intend taking it. We got off to a great start but we were disappointed that we left them straight back into the game, but that’s football. We took our goals well and we were by far the better team during the 90 minutes.
“We should have killed them off earlier but they kept coming back at us. I have no fear going into the final because I believe we are the best team in the country and I just hope we can prove that fact in the final.
“Ian Cleary’s goal reminded me of the goal George Best scored in the European Cup Final against Benfica. It was a brilliant goal.
“We have been missing chances in the Waterford League but credit to all the clubs in the league who have made it a great league this season and they have kept us on our toes. I felt all along that some team would get a right beating from us and unfortunately for Castlebar it was them.
“They are a good team, a young team with a good manager and if they stay together their day will come. Roll on Killester and I am delighted for the Carrick supporters because they are the best supporters in the land”, Wayne added.
Months of training
An equally happy person was the quiet spoken manager, the extremely affable Liam Wells. “This is a wonderful day for the club and the Waterford Junior League, but I am really happy and proud for the players. We had fantastic support here today but no one knows the effort those lads have put in since August.
“We have been training three and four nights a week. We have been watching their diets, their drinks and the rest that they take. We are running their lives but they keep stepping up to the plate. I am thrilled for each and every one of them.
“The year 2004 was a great year for us. OK we did not win the trophy but the FAI Junior Cup is the Holy Grail for us and we have never lost sight of winning the cup. Killester United are a fantastic team but we will have the players prepared and ready to play them in early May.
“The final is a great leveller and we will be ready for them, take it from me. We have a super panel of 19 players. It is hard for the guys on the line but they know they are very important to us who have to pick the team.
“Barry Murphy, Alan Ryan and Glen Keane came on today and look what they did. I feel really sorry for Tommy (Thomas Fitzgerald) because he has been really sick for a long period of time this season, but he has stayed with us despite his terrible illness but I can see the hunger coming back into his eyes and I believe he will give us a selection headache before the final.
“We will be back training again on Monday night as we have a big game away to St James’s Gate on Saturday in the FAI Senior Cup so that is our next target but then we will settle down and start planning for the FAI Junior Cup Final, the Holy Grail,” Liam concluded.