On Friday evening a brace from Kieran Marty Waters helped Cabinteely to a first league victory against UCD in 12 attempts and after the game the forward spoke exclusively to theleagueofireland.com about his sides victory.
“I think here [earlier in the season] we went 2-0 up and they came back and it was a draw 2-2. Then we got them in Stradbrook and we were 3-1 up and they came back to 3-3. They showed grit, and something that they lacked last season was grit. They got the results in the end, but tonight they had a period of possession and tick tacked us but we showed a bit of character and held on for the win. Now I’d say an extra five minutes they could have got an equaliser, we were chugging along but we got the win in the end thankfully.”
Despite leading 1-0 at the break, Cabinteely were clawed back 13 minutes after half-time through a sublime strike from Georgie Kelly, but they soon restored their lead two minutes later through a Waters spot-kick and the forward explains that it was important that they settled after retaking the lead.
“When we got the penalty, you have to score it first, but we scored it and we had five or ten minutes where we tried to settle back into the game because you are at your most vulnerable when you score. It was inevitable they were going to [push bodies forward], I think they ended up with two at the back, they pressured and pressured us. Maxi [Kouogun] got a good one at the back post, he’s a man for the headers but thankfully we got the [third goal].”
After being deployed as a winger during his spell with UCD, Waters supplied the Students with four league goals. However with six games remaining the ex-Shamrock Rovers player has surpassed his previous season’s tally with 11 goals in 22 games and he explained that every season he sets himself a target of ten league goals.
“Believe it or not that’s my target for every year,” he said when asked about scoring his 11th league goal of the season. “The last few seasons I’ve come close, but unfortunately not done enough. I’ve assisted probably more than I scored but this year my main role is centre forward. It’s my position and in my whole League of Ireland career I’ve played out of position, so this year at centre forward I’ve shown I can bag goals and I can be a nuisance and I can set them up as well.”
Undeterred by being played out of position at in previous seasons, Waters reveals it was an easy transition back to his natural position, but he is always prepared to play wherever he is needed to help his side be successful.
“No, I’ve kept it in my head that I’m a centre forward. Now obviously when I’m put on the wing I’ll do a job because it’s all about whatever benefits the team, but I’m enjoying playing in my natural position and I think I’m getting the rewards with goals, I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.”
For the second straight season, Waters saw his future in limbo as a move to a club outside the League of Ireland failed to materialise before Cabo offered the Dubliner a place to train, and he admits it was a risk to join the South Dublin side, but he was full of praise for his teammates.
“It was an old rigmarole. I thought I was joining another team not the league, but it fell through and I was stuck and Cabinteely came in and offered me training and I came in trained. The lads are a great bunch which helped matters and given the confidence of playing in my natural position it was a gamble. However, going forward I think Cabinteely could be a good club if they can keep bringing in players of decent calibre. The bench is as strong as what’s on the field at the moment so if we can keep them next year who knows.”
After huge improvements both on and off the field for the South Dublin side since their introduction to the League of Ireland in 2015, Waters explains it is great to see the club getting the respect they deserve.
“Who knows,” he replied when asked if we could see Cabo in the Premier Division the next few years.
“That’s the aim, but it’s great to go out every week and have the respect from other teams to say these lads can play and if they are not at it they can still hit you on the counter and they can do damage. I think that means more to the team and the club [that they are getting the respect they deserve] but going forward all we need to do is see if we can keep plugging away, keep winning and finish as high as possible in the table. “
Last season Cabinteely finished second bottom with four wins from 28 games. However, with six games remaining Cabo have already won twice as many games and Waters reiterates the players and staff have earned the victories with hard work and dedication.
It shows the hard work,” he reiterates. “Everyone wants to pull in the same direction, I know some people aren’t getting their games at the moment, but I have to say the people that aren’t in the squad come match days have the same attitude coming down training on a Sunday, Monday or whatever days we come in. it’s down to the squad, everyone is pushing everyone on so fingers crossed we keep it up till the end of the season. “
Despite Daire Doyle being appointed club captain at the start of the season, Waters has deputised when the 36 year old has been absent from the team line-up and he was quick to praise the influence of Doyle, who has made over 200 league appearances as well as explaining he keen to help the younger players in the squad.
“Daire Doyle is a role model in the dressing room and the club, he is the captain of the team. I look to him for advice and thankfully he gives it. Even with previous clubs I’ve been at, Daire Doyle has always put his arm around me and brought me forward, and with me being one of the older lads in the team to be able to help bring the [younger players] on means more to me as well. The captains armband at the end of the day is just a band, I’d be helping out with the team no matter what.”
Photo Credit: Paul Lundy