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Denzil Fernandes plays his part in Shels’ promotion success

Sunday, 6th October, 2019 6:20pm

Story by Kieran McCarthy
Denzil Fernandes plays his part in Shels’ promotion success

Denzil Fernandes celebrates Shelbourne’s promotion with his brother and father.

DENZIL Fernandes knows the recipe for success better than most.
It’s only a few weeks since the Drimoleague man helped Shelbourne win the First Division title and promotion back to the Premier Division for the 2020 season.
For the next three months Denzil is home in West Cork and back working in the bakery in SuperValu Dunmanway before he moves to Dublin in January. 
That’s when he starts full-time training with Shelbourne ahead of the new campaign, as well as juggle a job in Dublin too, and already he can’t wait to test himself in the Premier Division against the big guns.
‘The Premier Division is where everyone wants to play because that’s where all the big teams are and you get to test yourself against the best players in the country all the time. That’s where I want to be and it’s another test for me to see if I can step up to the next level,’ the former Drinagh Rangers underage star says.
Denzil only moved to Shels in July, during the mid-season transfer window, and at the time he told The Southern Star that the Dublin club offered him the best chance of playing in the Premier Division – and that’s exactly how it played out.
‘It’s been brilliant, the players and staff have been so welcoming and they made me feel at ease straightaway,’ Denzil (21) says.
‘I couldn’t wait to get on the pitch and it was so satisfying to be able to play my part in all of this. It was important that we got promoted and we got over the line and I am already looking forward to next year.’
Joining a title-chasing team mid-season isn’t as easy as it sounds because it’s hard then to force your way into a winning team, but Denzil did. He recovered from a hamstring injury to play an important role in Shels’ table-topping exploits. In the crucial 2-0 away win against promotion rivals Longford Town the speedy winger scored one and set-up the other – that was a key night in the title race.
Denzil also came off the bench the night Shels won the league title and promotion with a 3-1 away win against Drogheda United.
‘That was unbelievable,’ he says.
‘When I came on we were 1-0 up, then Drogheda got a goal back and they were putting pressure on us then. If they won that game they would have gone on top but we held our ground and hit back with two goals. I was just happy to play a part in those two goals.’
Denzil has progressed up through the ranks since he started out in the West Cork Schoolboys League and next season he will joined Schull’s Ronan Hurley, who is with Cork City, as a Premier Division footballer. It shows young soccer players locally that there is a path to the top and Denzil has one piece of advice: work hard.
‘I put my head down and I told myself that if I worked hard then things would fall into place,’ he says.
‘That’s with everything in every aspect of life, if you work hard then you give yourself every chance of succeeding. You need to believe in yourself too.
‘I worked hard, everything fell into place for me, I played my part, I got a goal and a few assists and now I’m looking forward to the Premier Division next season.’