Man­ager plans to re­main at the helm

Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - John Tar­rant

KNOCK­NA­GREE team man­ager John Fin­tan Daly basked in the warm glow of sat­is­fac­tion af­ter his side em­pha­sised their style of play to al­low a Cork side make a spec­tac­u­lar re­turn to the top ta­ble in the All-Ire­land Club JAFC.

Maybe not the most com­plete per­for­mances from a sk­il­ful side but a num­ber of fac­tors con­trib­uted to Knock­na­gree putting out their recog­nised best start­ing 15 against all the odds.

“Our in­spi­ra­tional for­mer cap­tain Danny Cooper and one of the best young for­wards in the county Eoghan McSweeney had to take painkilling in­jec­tions prior to the throw in. Our team is spe­cial, they put in the work, travel for train­ing, no ex­penses, they sup­port fundrais­ing events that will help build a new club­house in Knock­na­gree,” he said.

Hav­ing been in­volved with the side for five years, Daly learned from the harsh lessons of pre­vi­ous de­feats yet last Satur­day made up for pre­vi­ous set­backs and el­e­vate the club to a new sta­tus.

“In years to come in the new club­house, there will be a coloured bill board stat­ing Knock­na­gree All Ire­land Ju­nior cham­pi­ons 2018, when I’m long gone, that will re­main, al­ways re­mem­bered.

“We have a num­ber of young play­ers ready to come into the side, what in­spi­ra­tion, this vic­tory is for them, a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to fig­ure and I will re­main in­volved for 2018 in in­ter­me­di­ate ranks”, he said. “Its on­wards and up­wards, we’re thrilled for our fam­i­lies, friends, club, the Par­ish of Rath­more, a great foot­ball strong­hold.

“We’re rep­re­sent­ing Duhal­low, I was in­volved in back to back County SFC ti­tles with the di­vi­sion in a mar­vel­lous era, I al­ways said that if that team was al­lowed to com­pete in the Mun­ster cham­pi­onship, we could have won the All Ire­land.”

No stranger to pre­vi­ous All Ire­land club suc­cess, hav­ing guided Mil­town Castele­maine to IFC hon­ours in 2012, the Knock­na­gree supremo hailed the in­volve­ment of Mul­ty­farn­hem and for the first time in a 13 game run, the new All-Ire­land cham­pi­ons al­lowed an op­pos­ing side three goals.

“We were dis­ap­pointed on con­ced­ing two late goals, well into added on­time, maybe, we switched off, in fair­ness to Mul­ty­farn­ham, they came at us with real pas­sion.

“It’s all about win­ning, to do it with your own in an All-Ire­land in the third big­gest sta­dium in Europe, what a joy and I ap­plaud for­mer GAA Pres­i­dent Seán Kelly; the sin­gle big­gest thing the GAA has done for clubs out­side of se­nior ranks are these ju­nior and in­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­onships.”

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