RENAULT SFC PREVIEW - THE CAPTAINS ‘We’re up against a different animal on Sunday’
IF Leighton Glynn is successful on Sunday, it will be his 20th time to secure a Senior championship medal across the two codes. The Rathnew captain thinks it will be his 28th final – a stark contrast to Blessington side who are facing their maiden voyage to Aughrim for a county final.
And Glynn has a warning for Blessington: he thinks Rathnew have left their best until last. The 35-year old believes that his side have only showed their best hand in patches but he feels that it should all come together for them on Sunday as he looks to captain Rathnew to victory for the first time in his illustrious career.
Despite having featured in almost 30 county finals, the thrill has never diminished for Glynn who is happy with his side’s performances to date but knows that they are capable of more.
“It’s the same feeling, the same excitement coming up to them and the same feeling if you win it and the complete opposite if you lose them. The older you get, the less opportunities you’ll get to be in them so they mean just as much as the first.
“I think we’ve played to near our best in patches. Maybe we had 20 minutes in the Baltinglass game, we played very well against Annacurra in the second half of the second day and we played pretty good for most of the Kiltegan game. I wouldn’t say we’ve hit our best but we’ve played well in patches, we haven’t put it together for a full 70 minutes.
“I think we can if we approach it the right way. A lot of things would have to fall into place but that’ll be the aim on Sunday and we’ll be aiming towards that.”
Glynn is not alone in amassing enough gold to refill a mine and one look around the Rathnew changing room is sure to make even the hardiest of Blessington men offer their opponents a respectful nod. Glynn is wary that Blessington’s starvation of success could be their most potent weapon.
“The big thing is that you know each guy has your back. If you make a mistake, they’ll be there to help you out and you’ll be there for them.
“A lot of us have played for so long together – the best part of us between myself, Nicky (Mernagh), James (Stafford), Peter (Dignam), (Damien) Power, Enan (Glynn) – the likes of us have been there nearly 15 or 16 years so we know each other inside out and we know what we can do. It helps.
“We’re up against a different animal on Sunday. They haven’t been in a final in 29 years so in their heads, they probably have nothing to lose. It’s been so long since they’ve been here that they’ll be thinking all the pressure is on us. They’re there on merit. They beat the only team that have beaten us in Wicklow this year which is St. Pat’s and Blessington beat them comfortably enough so we’ll be up against a completely different animal than we’ve been used to.”
It isn’t the first time that Glynn has worn the armband on county final day. He actually did so twice in 2007 but Baltinglass would eventually best Rathnew that year after a replay. Glynn appreciates the honour but is happy to forgo the individual glory as long as it is a man in a red and green jersey that lifts the trophy.
“I don’t care who lifts it as long as we can get the win.
“Obviously it’d be nice because I’ve never done it before but I honestly wouldn’t care who goes up to collect the cup as long as we can get over the line.”
Rathnew captain Leighton Glynn in action against Mikey English in the semi-final against Baltinglass.