DEFENDER Stewart Greacen believes the future is bright for Derry City, following their memorable 3-2 extra-time win over St Patrick’s Athletic, in Sunday’s FAI Ford Cup Final.
The big centre-back, who cancelled out Sean O’Connor’s opening goal in what was an action packed second half and extra-time period, feels he and his team-mates should look to kick on now.
“It was a nervy last few minutes, but the boys dug in unbelievably well and I’m absolutely delighted,” stated Greacen.
“It means everything to me to win the FAI Cup, I haven’t had many opportunities to play in cup finals, this was only my second one and my first major one really, so as I have said it means everything.”
The former Livingston man, who is already looking forward to playing in the Europa League next season, admits he was taking a bit of flack from his team-mates that he had not scored for a few months.
“I think that gets us into Europe, so playing in European competitions is something I wanted, because I have never had the chance to play in Europe, so that already gives us something to look forward to for next season.
“When you look at the season now that it’s over, with everything that has happened from injuries and things, to finish fifth was respectable enough and to get to the Setanta Cup final and now to win the FAI Cup, I think when you look back it has been a good season.
“The boys have been giving me a lot of stick for not getting enough goals, but I got one important one today, so I would rather get an important one, but all jokes aside it was nice to get one in a final.
“My goal came at a good time, I don’t think it was long after St Pat’s goal, so it was good that we got back level.
“Credit to the lads, we have had set-backs all year and we had another set-back when St Pat’s scored late on to take the game into extra-time but we dug and seen it out.
“I think you see at the end both teams were out on their feet and it was just going to be a bit of brilliance or a mistake and thankfully we made to get a great goal from Rory.”
Greacen also praised youngster Barry McNamee, who was playing in his first FAI Cup final and who looked like a seasoned professional.
“Barry is unbelieveable and even though it was his first cup final, it didn’t faze him, he was excellent through out.
“I think we showed everyone on Sunday that we have a very good squad, because whenever you can leave the calibre of players like Rory Patterson and Ruaidhri Higgins on your bench, then it shows to everyone that the young guys have been fantastic for us.
“The vast majority of the players are contracted for next season, so if we can add one or two over the close season, then I’m pretty sure that we can be strong again next year.”