Shaftesbury Rec on the hunt for silverware

By Ed McGinley

Shaftesbury Rec FC manager Thomas O’Halloran is hoping his players can go all the way in this year’s Belfast Sunday Premier League Cup final against Carrick Hill (Sunday 20 May) at Allen Park (kick-off 2pm).

The Lower Ormeau club is less than two years old (June 2010) but already the management team has eyes on a first piece of silverware.

The Belfast Sunday Premier League Division 2 team has taken a number of scalps to reach the showpiece decider including wins over Brookvilla (3-2) and first division opposition Newhill (4-2) and Tavern Inn (3-2).

Boss O’Halloran expects stiff opposition from Carrick Hill but admits the pressure is off his players.

“We are only two years old so it’s a big achievement to reach this final and it’s a big step forward,” said O’Halloran.

“It was the icing on the cake just reaching the final so if we were to win, it would be the cherry on top.

“The lads have all worked very hard this season and there is a real buzz about the club. I’m hoping they get a good support out and that they enjoy the day.”

 

Consultation

The club was established when a local consultation in the Lower Ormeau area identified men’s health as a key priority to increase participation in physical activity.

The new sports facilities at Shaftesbury Community & Recreation Centre has created a base for the team to establish itself. There are now over 35 registered players.

Lower Ormeau resident and manager O’Halloran insists the recent impact of the senior team will give the club’s long-term development plans a boost.

“We put the cart before the horse in many ways by establishing a senior team before youth teams. But with a bit of luck we are hoping to branch out and bring the youth on board. There is a lot of hard work being carried out in the area to help young people.”

Shaftesbury Rec will look towards Tommy Conlon for inspiration as the lethal front man has scored 33 goals this season.

Anto O’Neill has driven the team on this year from the middle of the park while Dee Quigley has been in dominant mood in the heart of the defence.

Behind him captain Daniel Johnston has been a safe pair of hands. His importance to the side is unquestionable as Rec’s only two defeats have come when ‘the Cat’ was unavailable.

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