NORTH END GET IT SPOT ON

A dream re­alised as Sky Blues win penalty shoot-out

Gorey Guardian - - SPORT - DEAN GOOD­I­SON in the Aviva Sta­dium

‘I SAID to the lads, when you get to penal­ties it’s just five shots away from win­ning an All-Ire­land.’

North End man­ager John God­kin has been around the block, sev­eral times.

He knows what makes his play­ers tick, and for bet­ter or worse he prob­a­bly knows them as well as they know them­selves, so his com­ments in the im­me­di­ate aftermath of Satur­day’s his­toric FAI Ju­nior Cup vic­tory were as per­cep­tive as ever.

‘If some­one said to you, “you’ve five shots on tar­get and if you get all the five you win an All-Ire­land”, that’s where you need cool-headed play­ers.’

Other teams with dif­fer­ent men wouldn’t, ac­tu­ally couldn’t, re­spond to that mes­sage, but God­kin knew ex­actly what his play­ers would feed off.

Just five shots. Five per­fect shots. In fact, five prac­ticed shots.

‘We prac­ticed last night, we ac­tu­ally prac­ticed penal­ties,’ ex­plained the North End boss­man.

‘We hadn’t done it for a while, I just felt that don’t leave any stone un­turned.’

Lack of prepa­ra­tion is not some­thing peo­ple could ac­cuse God­kin of. Af­ter all, he’s been do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble for a quar­ter of a cen­tury to make this day a real­ity.

If you re­ally needed 10,000 to reach an ex­pert level, then he’s been ready for this mo­ment for a while.

But the in­ter­est­ing thing is that God­kin doesn’t see this as the end of a process. No, this is the be­gin­ning of the fu­ture af­ter the Wex­ford town team beat Pike Rovers 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out af­ter the sides fin­ished 1-1 af­ter ex­tra-time.

‘Per­son­ally I think that’s the start,’ he said, be­fore ex­plain­ing: ‘Clubs like Pike have been in four fi­nals and they are used to this stage, they are used to this oc­ca­sion.

‘We had to get there first and I knew if we got there we could win it. Now it means we have opened up the gates for other peo­ple to be­lieve.

‘There were kids in that sta­dium to­day who will want to get out there some day and play for their lo­cal club.

‘I think it’s great for lo­cal soc­cer. I’m man­ager of the Wex­ford team at the mo­ment, I have been for a num­ber of years.

‘I be­lieve Wex­ford teams can be­lieve in them­selves now. ‘We’ve done it for North End which is spe­cial, it’s my club and I’ve been there for many years.

‘I think we’ve done it for the county of Wex­ford too. Other teams and other clubs will now start be­liev­ing and, in fair­ness to them, be­cause of the com­pet­i­tive­ness, they’ll want to do it be­cause North End have done it.’

That John, they cer­tainly have. What­ever hap­pens in the years to come, North End will al­ways be the pioneers, the first win­ners.

No man­ager, or man, de­serves it more.

SEE CENTRESPREAD

Over­joyed cap­tain Paul ‘Spot’ Mur­phy lifts the FAI New Bal­ance Ju­nior Cup in the Aviva Sta­dium on Satur­day.

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