St. Pat’s cap­tain rel­ish­ing lead­ing role

Bray People - - Sport - Mark KENNEDY

GARY JAME­SON wears the cap­tain’s arm band for St. Pa­trick’s for the sixth sea­son in all and will be ap­pear­ing in his sec­ond fi­nal as cap­tain.

His pre­vi­ous cap­tain­cies were in the five years from 1998 – the first two years St. Pa­trick’s were in se­nior ranks but on the slide, and the next three were in in­ter­me­di­ate where they were beaten in one fi­nal.

Gary, who is hop­ing that St. Pa­trick’s will not ex­pe­ri­ence an­other fi­nal de­feat un­der his cap­taincy on Sun­day, says that he is rel­ish­ing his job as team leader. ‘There is a great re­ac­tion from the lads since the start of the year. We have worked hard to get back into a county fi­nal. At last count I think we have had 98 matches and train­ing ses­sions this sea­son’.

‘The re­sponse of the play­ers has been ab­so­lutely bril­liant, they can­not do enough. They have done ev­ery­thing we asked. We have pulled to­gether and I think it is the strong­est squad we have ever had, stronger even that the panel than won the two cham­pi­onships.’

Gary Jame­son felt that the hunger had gone out of the St. Pa­trick’s team af­ter winning the ti­tles in 2004 and 2006, but the ar­rival of Casey O’Brien as new man­ager has lit a new fire un­der­neath the team. ‘The play­ers have re­acted well and we are try­ing harder than ever now. I would be rea­son­ably con­fi­dent about Sun­day. We have done all the hard work. Train­ing has been tough and we are mov­ing well. We are looking for­ward to tak­ing on Kil­te­gan.’

‘I think the fi­nal will be a hard, clean foot­balling game. We have a lot of re­spect for Kilt3e­gan. We have played them over the last cou­ple of years and they knocked us out last year. So hope­fully on Sun­day, we will get one over on them. That de­feat last year put us back a bit, but hope­fully we are back motoring again and play­ing the way we want.

‘We are not looking be­yond Sun­day’s county fi­nal at this stage. We want to get over that hur­dle first. Kil­te­gan are a great team and I think the fi­nal will be fast and hard foot­ball. Kil­te­gan have great pace up front with the likes of Seanie Fur­long and Derek Daly. Seanie has done it for the county team.

‘At the same time we have John Slat­tery and Paul Earls. I don’t think David Smullen will make it and he is go­ing to be a big loss. But we have other lads to step into the breech and hope­fully do the job for us.’

Gary Jame­son is looking for­ward to re­new­ing his bat­tle with Kil­te­gan’s Seanie Fur­long.

‘I have great lads around me and hope­fully we can all win our in­di­vid­ual bat­tles. Casey O’Brien and Gerry Far­rell have told us that all each of us can do is win our in­di­vid­ual bat­tles and that is what each and ev­ery one of us will be try­ing to do.

‘We will be go­ing man to man with our op­po­nents on Sun­day and hope­fully we will come out on top. Fin­gers crossed and hope­fully we will make it a third cham­pi­onship win in five years’.

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