Davy calls it a day
O’Sullivan retires after 99 goals and three Golden Boots
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.