By Pierce O’Reilly
The Irish Rovers soccer team are celebrating this week after winning the Long Island Div. I League title, the Long Island Cup and the New York State Cup, all in one month. Under the guidance of coach Mark Hopper and assistant Kevin Flynn, they put together a squad of 16 top players who week in and week out did the business on the field.
Last year, the Rovers won the Div. I title for the first time in 25 years. It’s been 20 months now since the Rovers have lost a game and during a league campaign of 19 games, they conceded only seven goals.
Goalkeeper Jay Palmer has been outstanding, while the resolute defense of Rusty McGowan, Paul McGlynn, Pat Brosnahan and Kevin Daly remained watertight throughout the campaign. High-scoring midfielders Damien Dunleavy, Dave Pettit and Danny Parkin provided the launching pad for the men up front. Wingers John O’ Hagan, Mark Reeves and Anton diver have provided top-class delivers all season to the frontrunners, Jesse Van Saun, Stuart Duffin and Tony O’Donnell.
The Rovers won the State Cup Final, beating Los Corillos 2-0, and the League Cup Final, topping 5-3.
The Irish Rovers ‘ould fellows’ also did the club proud this year, finishing third in the League and reaching the State Cup Final. The team was started four years ago by Joe McGreevy and this year was assisted by Dave Quigley. The Rovers reserves also recaptured their winning touch this season.
Never miss an issue of The Irish Echo
Subscribe to one of our great value packages.
Having won seven league titles in the ’90s, the Rovers show no sign of decline.