EAMONN Seydak may have bridged a 15 years gap when winning the Gibson Cup recently, but victory in tomorrow’s Irish Cup final at Windsor Park will see the 27-year-old Derry man make history with Cliftonville.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
Having officially been presented with the Irish League Trophy on Saturday last at Solitude, Seydak becomes only the third Derry man to win the title since Marty McCann and Harry McCourt achieved that accolade back in 1998.
However, with the League Cup already won in January and the Gibson Cup already in the North Belfast club’s Trophy Cabinet, a victory over Glentoran tomorrow afternoon would make history with the “reds” claiming the Irish League “treble” for the first time.
“It’s been great to be a part of it all,” said Seydak last night. “It’s been a fantastic season and it’s not over just yet,” he smiled.
The son of Derry City’s Head of Youth Development, Eddie Seydak, Eamonn joined Cliftonville from Institute in August, 2011 and he hasn’t looked back.
“It took me a few months to break into the first team when I arrived, but I’ve been a regular first team player with the club since then,” he continued.
“This season I’ve played in 28 or 29 of our 38 matches, so things have been good and I’ve really enjoyed the experience. It’s obviously been the highlight of my career. At Institute we were battling at the other end of the table, so to be challenging for a league title and then winning it has been really special for me.
The left-back held the view that Cliftonville threatened to win the league title last year having enjoying a superb unbeaten run which extended to 14 or 15 games but then everything seemed to backfire.
“We lost our consistency and that cost us. But I really think the club has learned from that experience this season. We started off really well and come Boxing Day when we defeated Crusaders, we then believed we would win it.
“Tommy Breslin and the coaching staff helped shift the mentality and while we lost to Linfield on New Year’s Day, ending a 16 games unbeaten run, Tommy remotivated the playing staff and that helped us get over the line.”
Suggesting that winning the league had yet to sink in, Eamonn’s total focus is now on tomorrow’s Irish Cup Final against the “Glens” and another win in that competition would see him celebrate the summer.
“I think the fact that we’re playing in a cup final has helped keep our feet firmly planted on the ground,” declared Eamonn.
“Most people have already forgotten that we won the League Cup back in January, so to win a ‘treble’ would prove highly significant and, indeed, it would be an historic occasion for the club.
“But when facing Glentoran you can’t afford to take anything for granted as they really our a good side despite their poor league form this season.
“They have very good players and we’ve played them on four occasions with one win, two draws and one defeat coming from those games, so it’s going to be another tough match for us but we’re prepared and ready and, hopefully, we will get through it okay,” he concluded.
Seydak could then sit back and enjoy the draw for the Champions’ League preliminary round game which takes place in July and, indeed, there’s a chance Cliftonville could draw Neil Lennon’s Celtic!