WHILST the Woodview Celtic players were preparing to receive the Tully Bookmakers MDL Challenge Cup following their 3-2 win over Quay Celtic at Oriel Park on Saturday night, club founder Kevin Magee took time to reflect on what has been a roller-coaster nine years for the club.
Magee was at the helm in September 2003 when 10-year-old Lee Myles-Lucchesi was tragically killed in an accident while waiting to watch his father Damien play for Woodview in a Division Two league match in Navan.
The club withdrew from football following Lee’s death, and Magee wanted to pack football in but, urged on by Lee’s families, he was persuaded to return and the club returned to action - with Lee’s name adorning the club’s crest – in 2005.
Galvanized by the tragedy, Woodview came back stronger than ever and last Saturday night, as the club secured an unprecedented Premier Division, Challenge Cup and Kilmessan Shield treble, was the culmination of an incredible story, full of glory but tinged with sadness.
“It’s nine years this September since Lee died”, said Magee. “I wanted to quit but I was told by both of Lee’s families to keep it going and that’s why this treble, which has never ever been done before, is dedicated to him.
“When I started again I said I’d never give up until we won the Premier Division. We did that last year and now we’ve won the treble. We’ll see what happens next year but the main focus is getting the children going and getting more and more teams together and to just keep going in memory of Lee.”
While some clubs would be happy to bask in the glory of a treble, Magee said he was hungry for the club to progress even more next season.
“The first-team won the treble but I’m greedy because I wanted the reserves to win the double. They won the MDL Premier Reserve Division in their first year and they were unlucky to be beaten in the Reserve Cup final last night. We were very hard done by but that is the joy of being with Woodview Celtic. We get a lot of grief and a lot of stick but we keep going.
“Our children’s teams are also flying and it’s great to see all the kids here with all the boys. We have a presentation night on June 2 and there will be 90 children at it and two teams that I am very proud of.
“Gavin McKeever and our reserve team manager Wayne Conroy are two great lads to have at your club. What Gavin and the team have done is remarkable and hopefully this will bring the club on another step to where we want to be.”
WOODVIEW Celtic’s goalscoring hero Paul Warnock paid tribute to the management and coaching set-up at the club after his winning strike secured Woodview Celtic an unprecedented MDL treble.
“It feels brilliant”, said Warnock. “I’ve been with the club a long time. Kevin Magee put the team back together after that tragic accident to Lee Myles Lucchesi and it’s been onwards and upwards ever since. We’ve won everything that’s come our way.
“I’m delighted for Gavin McKeever, Christy Robinson,Davey Flynn and Gerry Matthews for all the hard work they’ve put in over the year. It’s been a hard working year for all of us.”
Despite being down to ten men, Woodview launched a swift counter attack in the 80th minute that caught Quay cold and when the ball fell to Warnock 20-yards out, he did the rest.
“There were four of us against two of them and I thought if one of us could get a shot on goal it would go in and luckily it did. It was a great battling performance. It’s the way Woodview have been since the start and I’m delighted for everyone”.