Home » Breaking News » ‘There’s nothing sweeter than beating your rivals’ – Paddy Purcell (Clare Cup soccer final preview)
Nnabuike Nneji of Avenue United in action against Gearoid O'Brien of Newmarket Celtic

‘There’s nothing sweeter than beating your rivals’ – Paddy Purcell (Clare Cup soccer final preview)

Clare Cup Final
Avenue United V Newmarket Celtic
Frank Healy Park, Ennis Saturday, May 25 at 5.30pm

Be under no illusions this is Clare soccer’s biggest rivalry. Any time these teams meet it’s the equivalent of Liverpool against Manchester United or Barcelona versus Real Madrid. Geographically both have nearer neighbours but in truth neither have more fierce rivals. That of course is due to the fact that they are two of the most successful teams in Clare soccer. Each know that to win domestic silverware they will have to beat each other. It’s David Russell’s fifth year in charge of Avenue United and they’re aiming for three cups in a row which will complete a double double (league and cup winners 2022). Newmarket under Paddy Purcell have had massive success with a historic FAI cup to go with the Presidents Cup and Munster Champions trophy. With rivalry like that are the managers rivals similar to Ferguson and Wenger or Klopp and Pep?

David Russell (DR) “ Well I support United so I probably should say Ferguson but with some of my touchline moments I’d have to say I’m more like Mourinho. But one hundred percent we would be rivals. There’s a grudging respect for what Paddy and Newmarket have achieved, of course there is but it doesn’t mean I have to like it” he laughs.

Paddy Purcell (PP) “ Well seeing as I support Liverpool I’d like to be Klopp but I’m probably a mix of him and Benitez. Those managers instilled a togetherness through their groups that I think we have over the past 9 seasons. I wouldn’t be overly animated on the touchline but try to focus on us and only us. As for the rivalry I’ve been in Clare Soccer for nine years now and to be honest it wasn’t there for a few years. We were focused on FAI’s and Munster Juniors, Munster champions cups etc. reaching semi-finals and finals year after year. The league was over long before the final day on several occasions and we went on a record breaking run in the cup. But in fairness to David he’s built a squad full of quality and the last few years has seen them really go for it. I mean they’re chasing three in a row cups and of course we would like to stop them.”
With that in mind it must have hurt the former League of Ireland player seeing Russell’s charges win the title in McDonagh Park?
(PP) “If I’m being honest they didn’t win the title at our place. The league was lost with some of our other results. We dropped points we normally wouldn’t have but we’ve been battling on a lot of different fronts and we’ve had unprecedented success but yeah it still hurt losing.”
Newmarket hold the record with nineteen titles and Avenue lie in second with twelve so one would imagine they’ve met quite a lot in finals but it’s only happened on four previous occasions with two victories apiece (Avenue 2022, 1986, Newmarket 1990, 2018).
(DR) “It’s the final everyone wants. The two biggest clubs going at it. When I was playing football with Éire Óg it was Kilmurry Ibrickane that we wanted to play and beat and it’s the same for me with Avenue and Newmarket. It’s never easy but I’d have huge belief in my team. We play attacking open football and if we can limit their effectiveness from set pieces I’d be confident our better use of the ball can pay dividends. At least I hope it does because the thought of losing to our biggest rivals is not a thought I want to entertain.”
(PP) “It’ll be a tight affair as it invariably tends to be. We’ve massive experience in finals and we know how to get a result on the biggest day. This is Clare soccer’s biggest day and it’s the showcase game of the domestic calendar. I can feel how important it is around the village and the club. We will be giving it everything we can to ensure our supporters are happy. I know these matches with Avenue United mean more than just a trophy. After all there is nothing sweeter than beating your rivals.”

About Derek Dormer

Check Also

Garvey announces candidacy for Deputy Leader of Green Party

Today, Senator Roisin Garvey announced her candidacy for the position of Deputy Leader of The …