In his position as director of most important sponsors Safety and Prosperity Monetary Providers, former Louth star Paddy Keenan had a chat with the Glen Emmets U13s on Sunday night to want them properly for this week’s journey.
s the kids listened intently to his each phrase, one factor the 2010 All-Star mentioned struck a chord with me. “It is such a good time to be a Louth supporter”.
Paddy was acutely conscious that many in his viewers had been nonetheless buzzing from witnessing Louth’s great comeback in opposition to Westmeath only a few hours earlier over the street in Navan. It has been fairly a while since there’s been such a stage of curiosity in and help for the Louth senior footballers. Children should not simply fooled. They know an excellent factor after they see it.
Mickey Harte’s fame preceded him earlier than he arrived within the county. His title alone commanded respect and recognition from all Louth Gaels. Gamers, officers, supporters and even detached onlookers had been excited and stirred on the prospect of what his shock appointment would possibly deliver.
However what he and Gavin Devlin have completed with this bunch of gamers in such a brief time period has been merely exceptional. Sure, we nonetheless have a protracted strategy to go and we’re in no way the completed article however there’s one thing constructing right here and I am unable to wait to see what the rest of the season will maintain for us. As Paddy says, “it is such a good time to be a Louth supporter”.
Sunday’s victory in Navan propels us ahead to our first Leinster semi-final since 2010 after we beat Westmeath. Louth shall be sizzling favourites to defeat Division 3 aspect Offaly in Croke Park regardless of the Devoted County’s comparatively simple, 1-11 to 0-10 win over Meath in Tullamore.
That they had 1-4 on the board earlier than Meath registered and led by 1-8 to 0-2 on the break. Colm O’Rourke’s males rallied within the second interval however extra for their very own sense of pleasure than any actual likelihood of victory.
A bit like ourselves, the chance of reaching a Leinster ultimate would not come round too usually in Offaly. It is 2006 since they had been final there and 2007 since their final semi-final look. They are going to be a handful however I am positive we’ll be prepared.
The conflict jogs my memory loads of the 1997 provincial semi-final when the identical two sides met in Navan. Below Paul Kenny’s steerage, we had been on a little bit of a roll having simply gained Division 2 of the Nationwide League and crushed Carlow within the opening spherical. With Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Laois on the opposite aspect of the draw, there was an important alternative for the county to achieve its first provincial ultimate since 1960.
Earlier than a packed Páirc Tailteann of just about 20,000, the vast majority of them in crimson and white, Offaly triggered an upset, profitable 1-10 to 0-11. It was actually a sport we should always have gained however the concession of an early objective and a few poor second half misses price us dearly.
I can nonetheless vividly keep in mind the empty, hole feeling within the dressing room afterwards. My very own private reminiscences of the sport are notably terrible. I would been carrying an Achilles damage for the previous few months however was nonetheless getting by throughout video games regardless of being unable to coach.
Handed match the day prior to this, I led the staff out on to the pitch as captain. Nevertheless, on working up the small incline from Páirc Tailteann’s tunnel, out on to the sector, I felt one thing ‘go’ on my heel. I knew it was severe. The Achilles had ruptured. I would not kick a ball once more for one more 12 months.
Brendan Kerin, my alternative, had a stormer at midfield however we got here up brief. Offaly went on to win the ultimate by defeating a depleted Meath staff earlier than dropping to Mayo within the All-Eire semi-final.
Glen Emmets; adventures in France imply I will be an absentee from Jones’ Street this Sunday. Nevertheless, there will be a gang of Tullyallen people gathered across the radio, together with our newly adopted Celtic cousins, listening to Colm Corrigan’s commentary. We’ll be hoping to cheer on a Wee County victory.