Wednesday, May 03, 2023

CONOR Byrne is quite possibly one of New Oak’s best players. A key cog in the midfield, his ability to break up play in the midfield and his physical stature makes him one of the best midfielders in the league. His leadership skills are second to none as well, and is highly respected by his teammates and the management at New Oak, evident by the fact that he was given the captain’s armband for the Keating Memorial Premier Cup final against Crettyard on Saturday night. A Cody Mulhall strike was the only goal of the game and was enough to secure a third trophy for New Oak.

New Oak Boys celebrate after defeating Crettyard United to win the Keating Memorial Premier Cup. Photo:

Speaking after a big win, Byrne said that it has been a fantastic season once again for New Oak as they attempt to match last year’s achievement of winning all four trophies available to them in the Carlow League.

“When we started out at the start of the season, we set out that if we got four last season, we need to win four again so all credit to the team that’s here and the work that’s gone in and it’s just a matter of driving on in midweek and beating Cretty again. Delighted to get the third one in there. Everything is really positive at the moment, Cretty really came with a game today and I feel like we had all the answers for them today, it’s down to communication and teamwork and team spirit. There’s great team spirit here and that comes with winning. We’re just delighted with the third trophy and here’s to driving on for four. The record we held in the Premier was unbelievable and we’re number one target now in Carlow. It tells you that teams are coming [speaking about how games have been so tight recently], with a battle and a gameplan to take us out. Anybody that comes though, we’re ready for them.”

When asked about how much the lads have bought into the management and what they’re trying to achieve at the club, Byrne was full of praise for the job that Gavin Dowling and his backroom staff have done over the past two years.

“Absolutely, everybody’s on board with Gavin, Gavin’s just been a great person to go to and he’s a great man manager and even his backroom staff, John and Lee and Eddie Shaw and Ham [Simon Agar], Mickey Brennan, it’s just a big family and everybody’s there to support and we’re all really happy with him being manager this year, it’s unbelievable.”

New Oak are set for another huge game against Crettyard tonight (Wed 3 May) in the Douglas Jewellers Carlow Cup semi-final with Parkville awaiting in the final after their 3-1 win last Sunday over Kilree Celtic.

By Harry Shorthose

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