Wednesday 27 March 2019

Muirhevnamor eyeing treble after crucial victory over Boyne

Marcus Cavaroli

The NEFL title remains priority number one for Muirhevnamor - but striker Tiarnan Mulvenna has his sights set on a unique treble!

Victory over Trim Celtic in their last league game would clinch the league crown, the Dundalk men are still going well in the FAI Junior Cup and they're hot favourites to come through their Tully Bookmakers Cup semi-final tie. It all points to a squad brimming with confidence and Mulvenna was in typically bullish form in the immediate aftermath of the victory over Boyne Harps.

'It was like a cup final for us - we knew we had to come and win and it was great to get there,' he began, explaining the wild celebrations at the final whistle. 'Harps are a top side because they had won seven out of seven, so they had to be respected, but I think we're the best team in the league and I think we deserved it today. I don't think they tried to play. I think they came for a draw and that probably cost them in the end.'

It was put to him that this could be a historic year for Muirhevnamor and Mulvenna responded: 'We've the semi-final of the Cup, another cup final for the league and the FAI Junior Cup still, and with the squad we have we really fancy ourselves in that as well. People might say that's being big-headed or whatever, but we fully believe in ourselves and this is probably the best squad that's ever been in MDL football.

'We really believe that and we trust each other and you can see the style of football we're trying to play. When we did score and they [Harps] came out and tried to play we could have scored four or five near the end, so I think that shows the gulf in class and what we really do have.

'The all-important goal was scored by evergreen midfielder Mickey O'Kane and Mulvenna paid a warm tribute to his long-serving teammate. That's Mickey for you and if we don't have Mickey we're in trouble. I presume in a couple of years we'll have to replace that, but while we have him it's a godsend. He's probably one of the best players ever to play in the MDL and he has never been given the credit he's deserved. To tell the truth he should have played at a much higher level.

'Even at this age he has a great work ethic. He's like a young boy even when we're training and it's a credit to him, the way he looks after himself. It's a whole squad though. This isn't just about one person or our management staff. There are 20 players who can play in any given week and that's why - if you look through the squads - there's always changes.

'That's a testament to the management staff, the squad we've got together. We're a hungry bunch. We've never trained twice a week before and we've started to do it and I think we're getting the benefits.'

Whatever happens between now and Christmas, it's the Premier Division crown that matters most and despite their exuberant celebrations at the final whistle in United Park, Mulvenna insists that nothing is won yet. 'The league is your bread and butter. It's what you want to win at the start of the year. We won it the first time we came up two years ago, we lost it last year and it kilt us and I think the captain last year, Jimmy Cooney, said in one of his interviews that we want to win the lot - we're not just in it for fun.

'Muirhevnamor are a team of winners, even when we were in the Summer League. If we win next week against Drogheda Town [in the FAI Junior Cup] we're one year undefeated - we haven't lost since December 10th last year - so that's a credit to everybody that's involved.  'But we can't take Trim Celtic for granted. They're a good side with Alan Murphy in charge, and it might sound like something that people mightn't agree with, but no one wants Muirhevnamor to win anything. We know that, everybody else knows that. 'Every game is a cup final for us, even when we play Bellurgan or Quay or Rock. Everybody wants to stop Muirhevnamor.'

The Argus