‘Thanks to the girls for all the hard work’
VALLEYMOUNT managers Keith Traynor and Darragh Callaghan were two satisfied gaffers on Saturday afternoon when a project that started at last year’s Valleymount GAA dinner dance was finished in superb style with the winning of the county Intermediate crown.
‘Most of the work was done at the Valleymount dinner dance,’ said Keith Traynor when asked how himself and Darragh were approached about the job. ‘The two lads that started the work last year, they weren’t able to commit this year, Darragh and Pat. Darragh was off playing this year and Pat wasn’t able to commit with work. They were kind of looking for people and it just kind of worked out. We worked it around our training as well, if one of us couldn’t make it the other one could,’ he said.
Darragh Callaghan offered his insight into the job interview.
‘Pressured into it. Felt bad for saying no. It’s been a very good year,’ he said.
Keith Traynor said that having played St Pat’s and having watched their semi-final that they learned a lot from them and that they were able to come up with tactics to try and get the better of them on the big day.
‘We learnt a lot from playing them, and the semi-final. That was a five-point win, it was fierce close that day, we learnt a lot about Pat’s that day, and, actually, Pat’s lost two big players to the Senior team after that semi-final as well so that was a massive help to us, too.
‘And the tactics that we worked on worked out brilliantly on the day. It was a big boost to me on the sideline seeing that happen (Aimi Healy having to come out the field to try and win possession).
‘We were still under pressure until the very end there. Pat’s kept on top of us, so I wasn’t really looking at the scoreboard to be honest. You can never underestimate Pat’s,’ he added.
One player who stood out on the day on what was a remarkable team performance was midfielder Sive Byrne who covered acres of ground and cause serious headaches for Pat’s.
‘She’s a phenomenal athlete,’ said Darragh. ‘The ground she covers is amazing. She covers the same ground as an inter-county footballer,’ he added.
Low numbers at the start of the year didn’t hamper preparations too much. The lads said that the normal things of life had to be got out of the way and then once the league final against Clara was over the real work began with championship in mind and the defeat of 2018 in the back of the minds.
‘There was a drive (after the defeat last year), it’s just the way it worked out with Leaving Cert and school and girls in work, it was just unlucky at the start of the year but from the league final on the numbers picked up and everybody committed and it was great because you were able to work on whatever you wanted to work on and you still had the numbers to do it,’ they said before offering their thanks to a wonderful group of players.
‘Thanks to the girls for all the hard work they put it and thanks to the club in Valleymount for everything they did. We never had a problem,’ they said.