WOODVIEW Celtic manager Gavin McKeever described Paul Warnock as the best full-back in the Meath and District League after his magnificent free-kick helped the Dundalk side retain their MDL Nivea For Men Premier Division title on Sunday.
A 1-1 draw in Meath meant Woodview secured the point they needed to see off second placed Trim Celtic in the title race and speaking to the Dundalk Democrat afterwards, McKeever was full of admiration for Warnock’s first-half opener.
“Paul has that in his locker”, he said. “He is a fantastic player. If he had maybe taken the football a little bit more seriously in the early stages of his career then who knows where he could have went. He is a sensational left-back, the best in the league and I hope he gets all the credit he deserves for that strike today.”
A swirling wind and poor surface meant that Woodview had to sacrifice any sort of pretty football in order to dig in and get the result they needed.
“With the strong breeze we had to change things around today and we probably didn’t start with the team that we were going to start with when we came over”, said McKeever.
“When we seen the pitch and the conditions we changed things around a bit and I think it worked well. We were outstanding on the day.”
Woodview’s push for honours was given a huge boost by the arrivals of Alan McCartney and Dave Rogers and McKeever was quick to praise the contribution made by both during the season.
“Alan McCartney signed early on but we just couldn’t get him on the field because he was playing gaelic”, he said. “He has been a wonderful signing. Dave has come in and his experience alone has been great. There’s not too many teams can call on somebody like him”.
McKeever also paid a special tribute to a veteran of the local junior scene who helped play his part in the title win.
“I want to give a special mention to Raymond Trimble. He played in the first 10 games for us and he was outstanding. When the boys came in so late in the year, he probably didn’t get the credit he deserves but I haven’t forgotten about Raymond. He was outstanding for us in the first half of the season.”
When making the presentation of the league trophy, MDL secretary Gerry Gorman said that Woodview’s current crop of players have the potential to be regarded as one of the finest junior teams to come out of Dundalk.
When asked if his side would go down alongside the likes of the legendary Bank Rovers side, McKeever said it was difficult to make comparisons.
“Raymond Trimble told me a lot about the Bank Rovers team from when he played with them but I don’t like comparing teams like that. We’re the best in this league and that’s all can do at the minute. We’re the strongest team the MDL has seen in a long time. I haven’t seen the Bellurgan team who won league and cups in the early part of the decade but Woodview are definitely the kingpins now.”
Their push to be remembered as one of the greatest will be helped if they can add the Kilmessan Shield and Tully Bookmakers Cup to the league title.
Woodview meet Dromin United in the Shield final on Sunday before squaring off against Quay Celtic in the Challenge Cup final on Saturday week and McKeever insists his side are hungry for more success.
“We’re not finished yet”, he said. “We have a brilliant squad and we’ll keep changing the team around. I just hope we can finish the season well. We’re not being greedy, we got what we wanted and the league is the most important but we still want the other two trophies.”