The Cairns Post

Tigers ‘deserve’ respect

- MATTHEW MCINERNEY

EDGE Hill United deserves more credit for the way the club has been able to bring together, maintain, and develop its all-conquering FNQ Premier League team, player-coach Crios O’Hare says.

The Tigers made history when they beat MA Olympic 3-1 in one of the most dramatic, tense and exciting Crad Evans Shield games in recent times.

The clash between the top Premier Men’s teams in Cairns and Townsville went into extra time, and they threw everything at the contest.

Edge Hill Utd came out on top to become the first club to win three straight Premier Men’s trebles since the Crad Evans Shield began in 1963.

And now, O’Hare says, the team’s squad deserves recognitio­n and the respect of their regional peers.

“The fact our goals came from guys that haven’t been our top goalscorer­s, it wasn’t me and (Josh Taylor), it was other guys covering us because me and JT were poor in front of goal,” he said.

“It took the whole squad to win it, and that’s something we don’t get credit for: being a great squad, not just a team full of a couple of good players with NPL experience.

“You hear it all the time and I don’t think that’s fair.

“We’re a squad of 16 or 17 players who, through a season, do a job, and that’s why we win things. Not just because we have a couple of older players with experience; we’re a great squad and that’s why we win things.”

Post-season specialist Jesse Casson, who has become the region’s leading big-game player, Davit Davitadze and Ryan Murray scored the Tigers’ goals, as they won the annual contest between the best clubs in Cairns and Townsville on home turf.

As for the title of being the “undisputed best team in North Queensland”?

“Absolutely,” O’Hare said. “The results speak for themselves. It’s not a coincidenc­e, it’s not a fluke that we might be down or we get challenged and we just get over the line.

“That’s through three years of hard work, belief and desire in the squad. This is a special squad, we’ve built it up over three years. We were really challenged and we came up good again.

“We said it at halftime, we said it at the end of 90 minutes, we said at halftime in extra time, that we believe we can go on and win the game. We can keep creating chances going forward because we’re a good attacking team.”

While the silverware is nice,

O’Hare said that on-field success was not the be-all and end-all for a club building a culture that goes beyond the scoreboard or trophy cabinet.

“For me, it’s not just about success on the field, it’s about building success in the club,” O’Hare said.

“Singing the song after the game, we had kids from five to the ladies Premiers who were outstandin­g with their result, packed (in the changeroom) singing the song.

“It was incredible. That sums up what we’re trying to build: a successful club with a really good culture. “

 ?? ?? Edge Hill Utd’s Crios O’Hare.
Edge Hill Utd’s Crios O’Hare.

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