EDFC had a stunning season, ending top of the table with 52 points after only losing two games all season. It was a closer league than many, with Stonehouse Boys Club finishing only one point behind EDFC. We got the chance to catch up with the coach of EDFC, John McVey, to find out what went right for the squad.
Winning the league is one of the biggest achievements in a footballing career. The reactions from the boys at EDFC after the final whistle blew proves just how much it means to them. John said, "The boys were absolutely delighted. It was a tense run with us knowing that we had to win our last four games to clinch the league. Stonehouse had an excellent season and pushed us all the way. It made for a dramatic finale and the delight from the boys was matched by the relief for the coaches and parents." Working hard towards a league win can be hard work for everyone involved in the team and for it all to pay off, it can take a huge weight off the shoulders. The midfielder from EDFC, Chris Callaghan also had some comments about the final game of the season, he said this. "Winning the league was a great reward for all the hard work put in by the whole squad throughout the season. It was a brilliant feeling when we clinched the title. We were all ecstatic.
It can often be hard to choose the biggest reason for a team's success. There can often be a lot of reasons that a team does well in the league. John said this about the driving force behind his teams victories. "I think the biggest reason was our team spirit. We suffered a couple of setbacks during the season, but we have a fantastic group of boys who stick together and encourage each other." Having a great team chemistry is a huge bonus for a team, as a team that work well together are a strong unit and can be hard to beat.
Picking a favourite moment of the season can be a hard job for any coach, and John is no different. He was tasked with the difficult job of doing just that. He commented this, "A real key moment for us was a very early league game away to JBM. We were 4-3 down with three minutes left to play and scored two goals to clinch a very dramatic, late victory. At the time we had no idea just how significant that result would turn out to be. Even a draw in this game would have resulted in us losing the league and with those few minutes left to play, a draw looked about the best we could achieve. Again, the boys' team spirit carried them home." Staying calm and collected under pressure can be a real strength for a team and like EDFC, can help you win an important match.
EDFC had a really great season all around, John said this about the season as a whole. "We had a really memorable season. We reached the quarter finals of the Regional Cup, beating two A league teams on our run. We were runners up in the Divisional Cup and also in the East Dunbartonshire Festival." Being in the C league and knocking two A league teams out of the Regional Cup is a great achievement, coming in as underdogs and proving everyone wrong is a great feeling.
Despite the memorable season, they still had challenges to face and John said this about their biggest challenges. "A really big challenge came for us with two league games remaining. Our goalkeeper broke his foot during hurdles at school and the next day our captain tore his ankle ligaments. We therefore lined up for our final two games with two players sitting at the side of the pitch with their crutches propped up beside them. It meant a bit of a reshuffle with our midfielder, Adam Mitchell taking over in goals and being handed the captaincy. Adam is an excellent rugby player and his hadling skills were there for all to see." Taking the leadership role and playing a position unfamiliar to you is a huge task and all props go to Adam Mitchell in being confident and strong in goals.
John had some final comments to add, he said this. "I think I can speak for all of our coaches and players when I say that we were lucky to be part of a really well run league with great referees, excellent teams and some exceptionally sporting and talented opponents. Our penultimate game against Seafar was a real end to end affair. We were 2-0 down after 15 minutes, but recovered to win 6-3. As we shook hands at the end, one of the Seafar boys, who had an excellent game, took the time to say well done and offer us best wishes for our final game. This, for me epitomised the sporting nature of many of the boys who participated in the league this season. Good luck to everyone for next season."
Some great words from John, and we wish EDFC and everyone involved good luck next season and hope they continue to succeed.