Manager plans to remain at the helm
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.”