WITH three League of Ireland Premier Division title medals to his name you would forgive Dave Rogers if he was to personally play down the importance of Woodview Celtic’s MDL Premier Division title success.
However when the 36-year-old defender describes the medal as the “sweetest of his career” then you begin to appreciate just how much last Sunday’s title decider in Trim meant to the Liverpudlian.
“This is more sweeter than any medal I’ve won before”, he said. “I’ve won medals with professional teams but seeing the smiles on the faces of those lads today means a lot more. I’m really proud of them. I’ve won this medal with a bunch of lads who are an absolute credit to themselves, to their families and to the club.
“They are honest, they turn up for training every week and there’s no moaning or no complaints. I’ve played football for over 22-years at a professional level and that’s all you hear in dressing rooms but these lads are just fantastic and I’ve really enjoyed coming in working with them.”
As well as being honest and hard working, Woodview possess a lot of quality in their ranks and Rogers said he was amazed how a number of his team-mates never progressed to a higher level of football.
“How some of them are not playing at a higher level is beyond me”, he said. “You can see it there today. We were up against it in the first-half with the blustery conditions but some of the football we played was excellent. To a man, the effort and commitment they put in is fantastic.”
After retiring from the professional game at the start of the year, Rogers was approached by Woodview boss Gavin McKeever with a view to joining the club and since then he has not looked back.
“My fiancee is a local girl who is born and bred in Dundalk”, he explained. “I’ve been living in town and working as a postman since I retired from the professional game in January, with the early starts it just wouldn’t have been worth it.
“I got a phone call from Gavin and he asked would i be interested in coming in and giving them a hand and I said why not? Dundalk has been good to me. That’s where my fiancee and her family are form and when I spent my time at Dundalk FC I really enjoyed it.”
And for Woodview and Rogers there may be more trophies on the way, with the club in the final of both the Kilmessan Shield and Challenge Cup.
“The lads were saying that alright”, he said. “They deserve a good drink tonight but we’ll come back in next week. There’s two more cups to be won and those lads deserve to win as many as they can”
q For more see pages 64 and 65.