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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Paul O'Hehir

Hometown hero Patrick McEleney revels in fourth FAI Cup success

Patrick McEleney was in seventh heaven as he toasted Derry City’s FAI Cup success.

The Candystripes ace, 30, was playing in his seventh blue riband decider - and winning it for the fourth time.

He first lifted the FAI Cup with Derry in 2012 and then with Dundalk in 2018 and 2020 before returning to his hometown club this season.

READ MORE: 'We let ourselves down but we'll come back stronger' - Shelbourne striker Sean Boyd

And the midfielder was instrumental in this romp over Shelbourne, setting the wheels in motion for Jamie McGonigle’s opening goal with a raking pass to Ryan Graydon.

McEleney said: “It was a different kind of final as there was pressure on us to win - if we didn't win here you are asking questions but we did the business.

“As a team, we were really at it. It's a big stage and we put on a show. It's amazing and when I came back here, from day one I was trying to win things.

“We missed out on the league but we won the Cup and that's a good start for us. It's a platform for us and we have to keep going.

“We have to set standards every day to try and achieve things like this. We can get better, we can't stand still, we have to keep progressing.”

McEleney continued: “Shamrock Rovers are the benchmark, no doubt about that, we have to get above them to do anything.

“They are a well-oiled machine, been at it for years. We're at the start of a process as they were at one stage. We will keep progressing and see where it takes us.”

Returning to Derry this year, McEleney felt the club - who won the League Cup in 2018 - were going through the motions and wanted to put it right.

“We were sleeping and standing still but hopefully we can kick start with this and not look back.

“You have to set standards and keep progressing. We need a winning mentality and not take our foot off the gas.

“Taking our foot off the gas in the mid-season hurt us. It's fine having good players but you need to do the business when it matters.”

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