Belfast Telegraph

It's the stuff of dreams for me: Dungannon hero Ryan Mayse overwhelmed by League Cup success

By Gareth Hanna

Dungannon Swifts hero Ryan Mayse was overwhelmed after his side secured a 3-1 League Cup success over Ballymena United.

It was the former Ballinamallard winger who sparked the club's first ever national top level title win, bagging two goals and an assist.

"Unbelievable," he told BBC Sport NI, speaking from the pitch shortly after full-time. "Words can't describe this feeling. Look at all the fans - our families and friends are there too. It's a surreal feeling. It's one I'm glad to be a part of and something that you dream of as a youngster."

The 24-year-old moved back to his home club last summer after spending a couple of seasons making his name at Ballinamallard. After nine Premiership goals last term, he was tipped as one to watch. His two goals this evening mark the highlight so far of that promising career.

"It's surreal," he reflected. "It hasn't sunk in and it'll take a couple of weeks to do that. I was playing at Strathroy Harps three years ago in the Fermanagh and Western. I got Man of the Match in a Mulhern Cup final. To come here to the National Stadium and get Man of the match in a League Cup final now - it's the stuff you dream of."

Mayse's first goal was a particularly smashing effort, blasting past Ross Glendinning after Ryan Harpur knocked down Paul McElroy's cross.

"It would be up there with one of the best I've scored," he said. "One of the reporters told me I hadn't scored in 14 games so I was due one. It's good to get the win. Once we got that extra cushion at the end, it was good."

The Swifts' success is one that few will begrudge the club - the club's first major title at senior level.

Mayse continued: "Nobody knows the work that goes on behind the scenes and that changing room, I'm not just saying this, it's the best changing room I've ever been involved in," continued Mayse. "It's such a close-knit bunch and all the lads fight for each other until the very death. And Rod (McAree - manager) - words don't describe that man. He's unbelievable."

That is, even if Mayse didn't seem to listen to the last words his boss uttered before the game.

"I can't really remember (what he said)," Mayse laughed. "I don't get nervous but it hit me before the game. I was sitting in the corner thinking about my own game and how I could help the team. Thankfully I got a goal to help them over the line and we've got the trophy now."

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