Duffy is de­ter­mined to de­liver

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -

CASEY O’Brien’s choice of cap­tain was surely a very wise move when all is said and done. Head­ing into a year just af­ter win­ning the Mi­ley Cup and know­ing the pres­sures that would bring and yet still des­per­ately de­sir­ing to win the club’s first back to back since 1961 he needed a cool head, a ma­ture foot­baller who ex­udes class and pa­tience and possesses an al­most ef­fort­less grace as he ghosts around the foot­ball field. Yes, he found the right can­di­date in Stephen Duffy.

On the phone, Duffy speaks like he plays, con­trolled, calm, am­bi­tious, not prone to silli­ness or the ridicu­lous. He speaks about pro­gres­sion when the steady im­prove­ment of this Pat’s team is mentioned. He speaks about the fact that this is the third year of the man­age­ment team and how the work has all been done, that the team is lit­tered with lead­ers.

‘We’re tick­ing along nicely,’ he be­gins, ‘things are go­ing well. We’ve a big panel so train­ing is very com­pet­i­tive. I woudn’t like to be pick­ing the team,’ he added.

He’s right of course. What a job that would be. Hav­ing to choose the start­ing 15 from a panel where many of the sub­sti­tutes would walk on to many of the teams in the county. It’s the shift from beat­able to damn near un­beat­able is what has peo­ple most im­pressed by this Pat’s set up. Ob­vi­ously, Damien Red­mond or the AGB play­ers won’t see them as un­beat­able but to the out­sider look­ing in this Pat’s team are as good a team as has ever played in the county.

They have it all over the field. From shane Doyle in goal to a full-back line that has thwarted ev­ery sin­gle at­tack this season in cham­pi­onship with the in­stall­ment of Matthew Traynor on the edge of the square tak­ing place as smoothly as the blink­ing of an eye.

In the half-backs they look like they can cause any team ma­jor headaches with the game man­age­ment of Conor Ffrench and the mark­ing and at­tack­ing flair of Pa­trick O’Keane and Ciaran Doyle. In the mid­dle they have the beast that is Dean Healy and the cre­ative and en­er­getic John Crowe while the age­less Paudge McWaletr prowls on the 45 bal­ways look­ing for work. Duffy him­self will roam while Tommy Kelly will look to main­tain his fan­tas­tic form by in­flict­ing se­vere dam­age on the AGB full-back line.

‘We’re in the third year of this coach­ing set up and we’re see­ing the re­sults with lands be­ing able to just slot in. We can pick four or five lads for ev­ery line on the field. The ma­jor­ity of that is down to the coach­ing. The play­ers have a clear understand­ing of what needs to be done. It’s all about pro­gres­sion,’ he said.

It’s AGB who Duffy and his col­leagues will face. The for­mer Wick­low RFC star and Towns Cup win­ner is nor sur­prised that Damien Red­mond’s men came through their re­play bat­tle with Bless­ing­ton.

‘I wasn’t overly sur­prised, cer­tainly af­ter the first day. They are un­beaten and are in good form. They’re al­ways right in the game un­til the end, there’s no way that a game against them will be over af­ter 40 min­utes and that’s tes­ta­ment to them keep­ing go­ing and turn­ing the screw when the chances ar­rive.

‘They’re a good team, they’ve their own way of play­ing and they can bring on fresh legs,’ he added,

Be­ing made cap­tain was a proud mo­ment for Stephen Duffy but like all the Pat’s play­ers and, man­age­ment he’s not think­ing about Le­in­ster cam­paigns or bring home the first dou­ble since 1961, he’s think­ing about the game, the 60-odd min­utes, and scor­ing more than the op­po­si­tion.

‘Win­ning one game of foot­ball on Sun­day is the fo­cus. We’ve big op­po­si­tion in AGB to get through first,’ he said calmly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.