Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree celebrates reaching the BetMcLean League Cup final (c) Inpho/Stephen Hamilton


Dungannon Swifts manager Rodney McAree has spoke of his pride in leading his team to the BetMcLean League Cup final next month.

His Stangmore Park side made history by reaching their first ever League Cup final after a memorable extra time victory over Crusaders last night.

McAree beamed: “It means a lot to me as a local lad as I only live a mile down the road and going to many a B division game with my father, Joe McAree, and chasing about a lot of people who are still about the club, it means everything to me. “

“I’m most pleased for those people in the dressing room who have worked extremely hard for me and done extremely well and continue to keep improving on what we’ve done before and getting to a major final is another improvement.”

Rodney who had a distinguished playing career with Liverpool, Bristol City, Fulham, Glenavon and then the Swifts – played in the club’s only ever major final appearance back in the 2007 Irish Cup final defeat to Linfield.

Regarding last night’s win, McAree was pleased with his players, “I thought it was very well deserved. When you play Crusaders you always expect to concede a goal or go behind the way they are scoring goals at the moment but thankfully we showed good bottle and good desire to get back into it!”

“We scored a great goal from Peter McMahon who finished exceptionally and from then we looked like the only team that was going to win it and actually that was only the case.”

“We showed desire and the togetherness over the 120 minutes to get it over the line and also we had a massive hurt in the Irish Cup semi-final when we lost in the 87th minute and I think that maybe played in a lot of people’s minds in the changing room.

“We spoke before the game and despite them being 23 games unbeaten it’s not impossible and every run has to come to an end – thankfully we are the team that has done that.”

Dungannon Swifts fans can now buy tickets for the BetMcLean League Cup final – by clicking here

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