Davy calls it a day

O’Sul­li­van re­tires af­ter 99 goals and three Golden Boots

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT - Sports Re­porter

AF­TER three Golden Boot awards and 99 goals, Davy O’Sul­li­van has called time on his short – but in­cred­i­bly sweet – League of Ire­land ca­reer.

The lion’s share of his net­bul­gers were cre­ated with Long­ford Town, with whom he spent five sea­sons be­fore sign­ing for Shel­bourne for 2018 and Tolka Park would prove to be his last League of Ire­land home.

A for­mer Ir­ish am­a­teur and col­lege in­ter­na­tional, O’Sul­li­van was on the books at Bray Wan­der­ers in his younger years and even scooped the Seag­ulls’ U-21 Player of the Year award in 2007 but he never made the break­through at the Carlisle Grounds.

It wasn’t un­til 2013 when then Town boss Tony Cousins plucked the Wick­low Town man from Way­side Celtic that the League of Ire­land got to see O’Sul­li­van at his lethal best.

He gave First Divi­sion de­fend­ers a fair warn­ing as he marked his Town de­but with a hat-trick and he con­tin­ued to blaze a trail in the goalscor­ing charts; fin­ish­ing as the top marks­man in both 2013 and 2014. It was in 2014 that he was deemed the Player of the Year in the First Divi­sion as he sup­plied the am­mu­ni­tion for a ti­tle-win­ning sea­son at the City Call­ing Sta­dium.

The Mid­lan­ders would suf­fer a re­turn to the sec­ond tier for the 2017 sea­son where, de­spite suf­fer­ing a frus­trat­ing sea­son, O’Sul­li­van still notched a hat-trick of hat-tricks against Long­ford’s ri­vals Athlone Town to fur­ther en­dear him­self to Town fans.

Neale Fenn was happy to let the club’s all-time top goalscorer de­part and Town’s loss was Shel­bourne’s gain as O’Sul­li­van yet again se­cured a golden boot – helped in no small part by a tre­ble for Shels against his for­mer em­ploy­ers.

Speak­ing to Kieran Burke of be­tween­thestripes.ie – a League of Ire­land web­site based pre­dom­i­nantly around Long­ford Town – O’Sul­li­van ad­mit­ted that he sim­ply could no longer jug­gle his other com­mit­ments along­side the rigour of a League of Ire­land ca­reer.

‘The ru­mors are true, I’m tak­ing a step back from the League of Ire­land. I’ve had a good run and I’ve en­joyed the last six years but the time is right to take a step back.

‘I’m not re­tir­ing from the game all to­gether, just from the League of Ire­land. The truth is I’m not sure what I’m do­ing just yet but I’ll be tak­ing a break un­til af­ter Christ­mas and we will see where I end up then.

‘I can’t com­mit to it any­more with work and per­sonal life, peo­ple don’t re­alise the ef­fort, ded­i­ca­tion and time it (play­ing League of Ire­land) takes up.’

He en­joyed six ex­tremely fruit­ful years and will al­ways look back fondly on his scorch­ing goal-scor­ing ex­ploits but his fond­est rec­ol­lec­tion was the ti­tle-win­ning sea­son with the Town.

‘I re­ally en­joyed the last six years play­ing League of Ire­land and I hit the ground run­ning when I signed from the Le­in­ster Se­nior League in 2013 un­der Tony Cousins at Long­ford. ‘I’ve met some great peo­ple, have had the plea­sure of play­ing un­der some bril­liant man­agers as well as play­ing with some fan­tas­tic play­ers, some of who are now great friends. That be­ing said, the time is now right to take a step back and con­cen­trate on other com­mit­ments in my life.

‘My fa­vorite mem­ory over the six years has to be win­ning the league with Long­ford Town. On a per­sonal level it’s prob­a­bly the best foot­ball I have played in my ca­reer, ev­ery­thing just seemed to go right.

‘We had a bril­liant squad and I had a fan­tas­tic part­ner­ship with Gary Shaw up front. I scored 21 league goals and ended the sea­son with the First Divi­sion tro­phy as well as pick­ing up the PFAI First Divi­sion player of the year, it’s a year I’ll never for­get. ‘

So af­ter half a dozen sea­sons and 99 goals, it is over and out for Davy O’Sul­li­van.

The late bloomer left a legacy that will re­mem­bered for a long, long time and whilst all of Co. Wick­low will be dis­ap­pointed to see the goal ma­chine hang up his League of Ire­land boots, the League of Ire­land de­fend­ers prob­a­bly won’t be.

Davy O’Sul­li­van in ac­tion for Long­ford Town.

Davy O’Sul­li­van com­petes with Richie Purdy of Drogheda United.

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