Manager: Pat Devlin
Top Scorer: Kieran Marty Waters (7).
Goals were an issue for Cabinteely this term and this statistic all but confirms this idea. With 15 goals last year, Kieran Marty Waters failed to reach the heights of his previous season for Cabo as the Stradbrook outfit were accused of being over-reliant on the former Shamrock Rovers star.
Highest Attendance: 608 vs Shelbourne
The visit of promotion hopefuls Shelbourne saw the highest crowd of the year descend on Stradbrook Road as 608 were in attendance to witness one of Cabo’s standout results over their Dublin rivals.
Conor Keeley headed the South Dubliners into the lead before a wonder-strike from the talismanic Kieran Marty Waters sealed the deal late on for Pat Devlin’s side.
Lowest Attendance: 141 vs Wexford FC
In what was the lowest attendance at Stradbrook this year, Cabinteely only managed to attract 141 supporters through the gates of Stradbrook for the home clash against Wexford FC.
The game proved to be a frustrating one for Pat Devlin and co. as his side fell to another defeat to the Slaneysiders at the Stradbrook venue.
Star Player: Kieran Marty Waters.
Talismanic figure Kieran Marty Waters once again proved his worth to Cabinteely in 2018 as the former Shamrock Rovers and Bray Wanderers attacker picked up seven goals for his local club.
However, the over-reliance on Marty Waters proved to be an issue for Cabo and Marty Waters himself as he often found himself being marked out of games against many defenders this term.
Best Young Player: Luke Clucas.
Famed for their schoolboy production line, Cabo appear to have unearthed a real gem in striker Luke Clucas. With goals proving to be an issue for Pat Devlin’s side, Clucas asserted his spot in the first team with many composed showings.
While he only scored three goals this year for Cabinteely, the nineteen-year old’s hold up play was a real highlight in an ultimately frustrating year for the South Dubliners.
Having firmly established his place in Pat Devlin’s side, Clucas will surely be looking to push on in 2019 as both he, and Cabinteely look to keep going on their upward trajectory since joining the League of Ireland in 2015.
Best New Signing: Stephen McGuinness.
Cabinteely raised plenty of eyebrows when they secured former Drogheda United keeper Stephen McGuinness’ signature for 2018 at Stradbrook following Michael Kelly’s departure to Longford Town.
The Drogheda United 2017 Player of the Year was a key figure in Cabinteely’s starting eleven, week in week out, and with 23 appearances to his name, McGuinness proved a consistent performer for Cabo on many occasions which often won points for his side with his six clean sheets.
What we expected they would do: 7th
As part of our pre-season staff predictions at Extratime.ie, we predicted a 7th placed finish for Pat Devlin’s side with improvements being the key to a successful year for the South Dubliners.
What they actually did: 7th
On the whole, it was a frustratingly inconsistent year for Cabinteely. While they recorded wins over UCD, Drogheda United and Longford Town at home, it was their away form that let Cabo down mostly this term.
A FAI Cup run to the last sixteen proved to be a rare bright spark in an ultimately disappointing year as Cabinteely eventually succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Limerick at the Markets Field.
A 7-0 trouncing away to Finn Harps on the final day was a sobering night at the office for Pat Devlin and co. as Cabinteely’s inexperience cost them dear in the games against the best sides the First Division has to offer away from home.
What they need to improve on for next year:
There is plenty to work on for Cabinteely next term. The 2018 season showed that Cabinteely were dearly punished for their lack of consistency throughout the year. Consistency is difficult to achieve in any league and this was a major issue for Pat Devlin and his coaching team to deliver.
Experience often cost Cabo valuable points this term as despite dominating many games, the South Dubliners lacked that killer instinct up top with defensive frailties costing them dear. The home clash against Galway United in May was a prime example of this.
With 32 goals to their name, Cabinteely had the fourth worst attacking record in the league this year as despite all of their initiative play, they couldn’t unlock defences often enough much to their frustrations.
There is the bones of a quality side at Cabinteely and with the right additions, a blend of experience and quality, Cabo could easily be contenders for the Playoff spots in next year’s First Division should the structure remain the same as this year’s instalment of the second tier.