Belfast Telegraph

Crusaders are showing class of champions

When former Northern Ireland international Colin O'Neill criticised the quality of Irish League football in the Belfast Telegraph last week, he caused uproar.

A few years ago I questioned the quality of the product too, but it has to be pointed out that the Irish League is different to when Colin and I played.

And right now I would say the Irish League is excellent value for money, far more so than what I pay Sky Sports and BT Sport to watch the English Premier League, which is nowhere near as good as it is hyped up to be.

Of course I wish the standard in local football was better and believe it could be better with some investment, but overall the product has a lot going for it.

Colin is entitled to his opinion and the reaction to it shows how much people care about the game here.

He said Stephen Baxter's side were a long ball outfit, and he is right as they can be direct, but when I have watched them this season they have shown they can play good football too, especially Paul Heatley and Gavin Whyte. They are different class.

And I thought they were too strong for Linfield on Saturday. They look a champion outfit again.

Belfast Telegraph

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