Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Carroll savouring every second of his latest golden triumph

By Alex Mills

Roy Carroll may have picked up his third title winners' medal on Saturday, but he admitted 'days don't get much better this'.

The goalkeeper was inspirational in the Blues' late surge that culminated in the Gibson Cup returning to Windsor Park for the first time in five years.

Carroll thought he had seen it all in a full-time career at Manchester United, Rangers, West Ham United and a two-year spell with Greek club Olympiacos, but the 39-year-old rates his team's revival - to claw back a staggering NINE points on Crusaders - as a 'phenomenal' achievement.

He danced a jig of delight with the rest of his team mates when the title party got under way at Windsor Park on Saturday night, when over 2,000 fans turned up to acclaim the new Danske Bank Premiership champions.

"I've won titles in England with Manchester United and in Greece with Olympiacos and now in Northern Ireland with Linfield," beamed Carroll.

"I can't describe how good that feels. I tell all the lads to really enjoy moments like this because you never know when they will happen again.

"I might be 39 but I feel like a big kid of 19 when I'm playing - that's what it's all about."

He added: "I've been around for a long time but to come from nine points behind two months ago and go into the last game two points in front is unbelievable.

"We weren't top all season until last week. After going 1-0 down, we came out a completely different team in the second half and well deserved it.

"The run we've been on in the last two or three months has been fantastic. To take 43 points from a possible 45 is a great run and the players and coaching staff deserve it."

Carroll admitted the first half performance at Solitude was riddled with nerves.

He said: "We were disappointed with Cliftonville's goal because we knew they take a lot of short corners, but we just weren't switched on for some reason.

"It was a big game and we probably showed a few nerves but in the second half we showed what Linfield is all about. It was the same at Coleraine last week; we were 1-0 down and came back to win 5-1.

"I made a save at 1-0 on Saturday, but it was maybe going wide and, with the way we played in the second half, I think we would have come back even if we had gone 2-0 down.

"I've been around football for a long time and been around the block. You have to keep going until it's over."

He added: "We were never going to give up even though we knew how good Crusaders are, as they've shown by winning the league two years in a row.

"I'm just delighted for the lads; the big thing was beating Crusaders twice in the league - that's what really brought us back.

"I love playing football and that's why I've signed a new contract.

"Hopefully we will bring in another few players to make sure we are challenging again next season."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph