IRISH LEAGUE: Matthew Snoddy and Crusaders ready to become history makers

Matthew Snoddy (left) is determined to help Crusaders over the line in this seasons title race
Matthew Snoddy (left) is determined to help Crusaders over the line in this seasons title race

Matthew Snoddy insists Crusaders are determined to become history makers at Solitude on Tuesday night.

Victory against derby rivals Cliftonville will seal another Danske Bank Premiership title for the Shore Road men.

It would be the first time in Crusaders’ history that they have recorded back-to-back championships.

Stephen Baxter’s side is standing on the cusp of greatness, and midfielder Snoddy insists the players are ready to “finish the job” with victory against Cliftonville.

“It would certainly be the highlight of my career so far if we can win the title,” the 22-year-old said.

“I’m determined to help the club give it one final push to get a league medal. It would be a dream.

“The club has never done two in a row, so it’s a chance to write our names in the history books. It’s a huge incentive.

“It would be fantastic to win successive titles. I’ve been at the club six years and the progress we have made even in that time has been amazing. That’s credit to Stephen, the backroom staff, chairman and board. It’s been an unbelievable turnaround for the club.

“A win confirms the title and there’ll be amazing celebrations if we manage to get the job done.”

Snoddy has some added motivation to get Crusaders over the line tonight.

The midfielder earned a league winner’s medal last season but spent the second half of the campaign on loan with Coleraine.

This season Snoddy has been a pivotal figure in the Crues’ title surge, and he admits any title success would be a high point in his own career.

“There is added motivation. I got a medal last season, but if I’m being honest, I didn’t really feel part of it,” he added.

“I made 16 appearances for Crusaders in the first half of the campaign, before I went on loan to Coleraine, but most of them were off the bench.

“This season I’ve played near enough every game, bar one against Carrick. It’s been amazing. I feel as if I’ve really broken into the team this season and to hopefully get a league medal at the end of it will mean so much.

“I am pleased with how this season has gone, particularly when you look at how strong our squad is. Last summer, I looked around and thought to myself: ‘The quality here is crazy. It maybe isn’t going to happen for me’.

“I managed to get in for one of the Champions League ties and scored a goal against Skenderbeu. I haven’t really looked back from there.”

Snoddy has spent six years at Seaview and has enjoyed many of the club’s silverware triumphs.

“In my first season, I won the Setanta Cup final. I was only 17 and scored a penalty in the shootout, which was an incredible experience,” he explains.

“I also won the League Cup that season, when we beat Coleraine 1-0, so it was an incredible first campaign with the club. But winning the title this season would be the highlight.”