Manager: Pat Devlin
Top Scorer: Rob Manley (17 league goals).
Highest Attendance: 803 (3-0 defeat v Bray Wanderers, Friday 22 February).
Lowest Attendance: 204 (1-0 defeat v Galway United, Friday 16 August).
Star Player: Rob Manley
Joining from Drogheda United after a stop-start few years since graduating from under-19 level, Rob Manley found his form at Cabinteely this term – racking up an impressive 18 goals in all competitions.
The former UCD forward proved to be a lethal asset for Pat Devlin’s side, with his eye for goal proving decisive in many games for the Green and White’s.
His performances have certainly not gone unnoticed this year, with PFAI recognition coming his way – in the form of a First Division Player of the Year nomination.
Best Young Player: Conor Keeley
It has been another stellar year at the office for the former Shelbourne defender who established himself as one of the key members of Devlin’s unlikely promotion hunters this year.
His defensive qualities and knowhow shone through on many occasions, most notably during the incredible 1-0 home win over Shelbourne in May.
All in all, it was a year to look back on with pride for the Dunboyne native – with the priceless experience of being involved in a titanic promotion battle added to his growing list of accolades.
Best New Signing: Rob Manley
As mentioned previously, Manley proved to be a key asset throughout the season for Pat Devlin’s side, with his 18 goals firing Cabo to new heights in a record breaking campaign for the club.
What we expected they would do: 8th
Eh, yea… Certainly not a prediction to boast about, the Extratime.ie team predicted an eighth placed finish for Cabinteely.
What they actually did:
It was a year to remember for Cabinteely this year who stunned many (including ourselves...) to secure a fourth placed finish – and their first ever playoff position.
However, if it wasn’t for a difficult June, Cabinteely may very well have found themselves competing for the league title towards the latter stages of the year.
Despite that, the playoffs was still seen as a superb achievement for Cabo, but they were not content just to take part – as they dumped out Longford Town in a dramatic penalty shootout win at City Calling Stadium.
Drogheda United proved to be a step to far however, with a lack of experience perhaps showing in the second leg at United Park. But that cannot take away from a superb league campaign for Cabo.
While they were victorious on penalties against Longford Town in the Playoffs, Cabinteely were afforded no such spot-kick luck in the FAI Cup.
The Leesiders cruelly dumped out the Green and Whites in dramatic fashion at Stradbrook, with Ronan Hurley’s late leveller cancelling out what looked to be a winner for Cabo in extra-time.
Mark McNulty saved Manley’s leggy spot-kick, with Gearoid Morrissey steering home his penalty to secure victory for a relieved Rebel Army.
EA Sports Cup
Cabinteely bowed out of the EA Sports Cup at the first attempt with a defeat away to Bohemians at Dalymount Park.
Luke Clucas gave the First Division side a first-half lead, before Ryan Graydon and Sam Byrne scored in the second half to avoid a cup upset of sorts for the Gypsies.
Leinster Senior Cup
Cabo saw their dreams of winning the Leinster Senior Cup dashed by St Patrick’s Athletic at a rain-soaked Stradbrook in September.
It was the Green and White’s first outing in the tournament sine March, where they saw off Bray Wanderers in the first round.
What they need to improve on for next year:
For Cabinteely, it looks as if they will have to rebuild again if they are to challenge in the First Division promotion hunt once again.
It is likely that a number will move on from the South Dubliners to pastures new, but the core of the 2019 side may opt to hang around for another year at Stradbrook.
There will of course be plenty of interest in both Rob Manley and Conor Keeley from top-flight clubs – but there are a number of players who look primed to step up to the fold if any moves do materialise.
Jack Hudson and Luke Clucas are two players to certainly keep an eye on, as are wingers Paul Fox and Keith Dalton.
If Devlin can manage to keep the majority of his side around for one more, along with the shrewd acquisitions of a number of experienced campaigners, Cabinteely certainly have the potential to push on once more.None
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