‘We have kept our heads down all year’
DEAN HEALY wants another championship medal in his pocket and another picture on his mum’s mantelpiece.
Healy won gold in his first ever final and marked the occasion with a picture of himself and sister Aimi – herself holding an U-14 trophy at the time – with their mum sandwiched in-between and Dean reckons it’s about time that there’s an upgrade in light of Aimi winning the intermediate championship as captain recently.
Since that glorious day though, Healy experienced the heartbreak of three defeats in a row on county final day but the captain reckons the team-mates that will surround him on Sunday eclipse every other team he has played in.
‘I think the current panel of Pat’s players there - from the last eight or nine years I’m involved - I think the quality contained in this team is definitely the best. We probably don’t have stand-out names like we did previously but all year the lads have been focusing on the individual games that we’ve been playing and we’ve gotten over every task that we’ve faced so far. This is a county final but one thing Casey has been stressing all along is that it’s just another game to get our overall goal that we set ourselves at the start of the year.
‘We sat down at the start of the year and set ourselves a number of goals. To date, we’ve achieved everything that we set ourselves with the exception of winning the league. County finals are big days and I’ve played in a number of them but the young lads that have been introduced this year; there’s a certain rawness that comes with young lads. I remember being 18 back in 2012 and I don’t think you take much of the occasion in because you just see it as a game more so than lads that have been around the block’.
Healy could be considered a veteran at this stage in terms of his experience and he as experienced many jousts with Sunday’s opponents.
‘We are playing Rathnew and they’ll know us better than a lot of teams would and we’ll know them better too just because of prior engagements. Rathnew beat us in a final two/three years ago but the panel we have at the moment; not a lot of them would have experienced that. It will be a big occasion but I’m extremely confident that if we stick to what we’ve been doing, we’ll hopefully come out the right side of it.
‘Rathnew will have just as much confidence as we have. At the start of the year and throughout the course of the championship Rathnew have been the ones tipped to win it so the pressure is on them. We’ve kept our heads down all year and got on with it and we’ll hopefully come out the right side of it on Sunday’.
Aimi has already showed Dean the way by captaining her side to glory. It’s now over to Dean to match his sister’s heroics.
‘Me and Aimi are very close and it was great to see Pat’s come out the right side of it. I hope Aimi is coming in over the fence with her trophy to join Miley for a family photo! I’m hoping to have an updated picture for the mantlepiece’.
Dean Healy in action against Ciaran Kilkenny of Dublin in this year’s Leinster Championship clash at Portlaoise. Healy will lead Pat’s out in the county final against neighbours Rathnew on Sunday.
Dean Healy battles with Rathnew’s Jody Merrigan in the county final of 2015.