In it for the long run!
by Sam Gamble
Experienced Armagh City full-back Paul Carvill has expressed his delight at getting an extended run in the City first team this season. The left-back has been a mainstay in Marty Rice’s starting eleven this season and thought results have varied during that spell, he has enjoyed every minute of it.
“Over the last year or two I have been behind Ryan McGerrigan and he was playing so well that I really couldn’t complain about not getting game time. Marty is probably spoilt for talent on the left hand side and last year he had Ryan and Shea really playing well and I was left kicking my heels.
“I probably didn’t help myself at times when I was more committed to playing GAA at times, but I now know that you can’t just dip in and out of the club and expect game time. I settled myself down and focused on getting into the team from August and while performances have varied it has been great to get a run in the team.”
Carvill admitted that at the age of 31, he knows he can’t spend his Saturday afternoons kicking his heels on the bench.
“I have sat on enough benches to last a lifetime and when I was at Glenavon I spent a lot of time as a substitute and you were never quite sure where you stood. There is no better feeling than getting out there and playing regularly on a Saturday afternoon.”
Carvill acknowledged that the first few months of the new season have not been exactly plain sailing for the Holm Park side.
“When everyone is available we are right up there with the best in the league, but when you lose three or four players like we did it is bound to have an impact. I am sure Marty never imagined in his wildest dreams losing Dara Noonan, Eamon Kelly and Ciaran Murray in the space of a few weeks.
“Marty was probably left scratching his head thinking how on earth has all of this happened, but that was the situation we were in at the time. We know that if we have everyone fit and available then we don’t fear anyone.”
The Championship is amongst one of the most competitive leagues in Northern Ireland and just over 12 points separates the teams in the relegation area with those chasing promotion. Carvill said that if you look too far ahead in this league, it can come back to bite you.
“I think not having a runaway leader has been beneficial. Everyone is capable of taking points off each other and that was evident when we went to Warrenpoint Town and we were unlucky not leave with all three points.
“It those games against the teams at the top of the table that can make you and we know we are capable of competing with the very best. It is an age old cliché, but you have got to just take it one game at a time, especially in this league.
“I really do think that we have that little something about us that can make us stand out from the crowd and we know we have the talent, the ability and the potential, but it is about adding in that work ethic and focus in games and if we do that then we will start to make progress up the table.”