Alan Reilly has been handed a nigh on impossible task of having to replace the irreplaceable after one of the key components to his success departed the club this week.
Former Everton youth and League of Ireland nomad John Lester hasn’t confirmed if he has retired from playing ball, but did reveal he has elected to call time on his Sheriff YC career.
The midfielder’s decision brings to a six seasons love affair between the player and supporters of the Inner City side. Over those six years Lester has managed to pick up 25 trophies including six league titles and four FAI Junior Cups.
Lester confirmed on Social media not long after Sheriff secured a quadruple with victory over Rivervalley Rangers on Tuesday night that he was departing.
“All good things come to an end. What a club and what a team. Been a pleasure to play for and with. I thank everyone for making the last 6 years so special.”
The experienced midfield had reached veteran stage and after a host of 50 game plus seasons his decision to leave the club might not come as a surprise.
However, Lester was nigh on ever present this term and not doubt Reilly would have like to have him around for next term.
Such is the talent at the decorated managers disposal that it would be impossible to highlight the first name on his team sheet, but it was clear Lester wasn’t just a stand out footballer, but key to Sheriff’s tactical approach.
There certainly wasn’t a Sheriff player as important to both defence an attack. The master passer often started Sheriff’s moves and his ability on the ball always drew admirers. However, in terms of the Premier A champions approach his aerial ability and knowledge of when to drop in to make a back three and allow the full backs to push on was crucial to how Alan Reilly’s teams set up. Indeed so efficient in the role was Lester one side line watcher last season inquired as to why Mauricio Pochettino didn’t just ‘buy John Lester rather than trying to get Eric Dier to copy him’.