DONEGAL LEAGUE PREVIEW

Slevin and Letterbarrow on the up and up

Experienced midfielder enjoying another fine campaign

Diarmaid Doherty

Reporter:

Diarmaid Doherty

Email:

sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Slevin and Letterbarrow on the up and up

Diarmaid Slevin in the colours of Erne Wanderers up against Ballybofey United last season.

They’re one of the form teams in the Donegal League and a recent run of victories has catapulted them into the race for promotion from the CT Ball Division.

Letterbarrow Celtic’s 5-2 demolition of Curragh Athletic last Sunday saw them move into the top four.

However, their experienced midfielder, Diarmaid Slevin, reckons the team probably deserve to be even higher up the table at this stage.

“We dropped a few silly points earlier in the season,” he said.

“We lost a few games and drew some as well which we should have won. But overall, it’s been a good season.”

Slevin’s arrival at the start of the campaign from Erne Wanderers was a shrewd bit of business by his new club. The Ballyshannon man, who is 41, plays in the centre of midfield and insists that even with so many seasons under his belt, he’s still enjoying his football.

“To be honest, I dread the day when I’m not able to play and I’ve got to be happy with just watching from the sidelines,” he said.

He’s part of a Letterbarrow side that has the perfect blend of youth and experience.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Slevin added.

“It’s a great club. It’s brilliantly organised off the pitch with a fine ground and clubrooms and good people involved. And I’ll tell you, if this team doesn’t go up this year, they will definitely be challenging over the next couple of seasons.”

The team is managed by Denis Gorman and Slevin points to young players like Nathan Carr, Kevin McBrearty and  James McGroary (a son of Letterbarrow club stalwart James Snr.) as those who have played so well this season.

On top of that, another Ballyshannon man, John Roper, who has been playing with Letterbarrow for ten seasons, continues to be a real driving force, along with Christy Burke in defence and Alex McNelis in attack.

It’s not Slevin’s first season with Letterbarrow. Some ten years ago, he played for two years at Tymeen. Up until then he was playing with Erne Wanderers, but when the senior team folded, Slevin joined Letterbarrow and also played for a while with Donegal Town.

He has enjoyed a great career, not only in soccer, but in Gaelic football as well and still turns out for Aodh Ruadh reserves in the All County League.

Married to Dearbhla, the couple celebrated the birth of their first child, baby Fionn, who was born last October. Diarmaid said the new arrival hasn’t prompted him to think about hanging up the boots just yet.

“I’d like to think that I can start a bit of coaching over the next couple of years and be there for Fionn if he decides to start playing,” he said.

In the meantime, Diarmaid can concentrate on helping Letterbarrow maintain this great run of results.

This Sunday, they are going for a fifth win in six games when they host Drumkeen United.

It’s part of a busy programme of games in the CT Ball Division and with the teams above them all away from home this weekend, there’s every chance that with a win, Letterbarrow might close the gap on the leading bunch again.

FIXTURES

Saturday, 11th February, 2 p.m.
Glencar Inn Saturday Division
Fintown Harps AFC v Drumbar F.C.
Dunlewey Celtic v Glencar Celtic
Orchard F.C. v Strand Rovers


Saturday Reserve Division
Castlefin Celtic Reserves v Glenree United Reserves
Drumoghill F.C. Reserves v Erne Wanderers Reserves
Keadue Rovers Reserves v St. Catherines Reserves
Kilmacrennan Celtic Reserves v Donegal Town Reserves
Glenea United Reserves v Cappry Rovers Reserves

Sunday, 12th February, 2p.m.
Brian Mc Cormick Premier Division
Milford United v Convoy Arsenal
Glenea United v St. Catherines
Kilmacrennan Cel v Rathmullan Celtic

CT Ball Division Two
Whitestrand Rovers v Lifford Celtic
Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. v Dunkineely Celtic
Copany Rovers v Curragh Athletic
Eany Celtic v Ballybofey United
Letterbarrow Celtic v Drumkeen United