HAVING got within an ace of steering Duhallow to county senior football championship glory in 2012, the much-travelled Ned English was delighted to be back in the winners enclosure with Clyda Rovers last Sunday.
But he was quick to divert attention from himself in the wake of the victory over Macroom, insisting that the bulk of the credit must go to the players on what was a magnificent occasion for the community in Mourneabbey.
"There is a tremendous amount of positive energy in the club, and the co-operation I have received since I came in this year has been absolutely incredible. I have never heard a negative word, it's been all about looking to the future, and the club spirit certainly came out today.
"I'm delighted for the little community in Mourneabbey, and I'm really proud of the players, they are all warriors, and I couldn't ask for any more of them in terms of heroism and bravery," he stated.
He said he there was never a doubt in his mind that they were good enough to win the final, but he accepted there was big pressure on them, after losing three finals in-a-row.
"Finals are always about dealing with the pressure, but I said to the lads this week that they are good enough to be up senior, but they have to earn the right to get there today. I knew they had the ability, I knew they had the football, I knew they had the legs and the fitness, but the only question was whether they had the mental strength, and they showed in no uncertain manner that they had.
"It was a fabulous performance, we played no small amount of good football, we used the spaces to deliver the ball well, and we got some great scores against a gallant Macroom side. They tackled very hard, they put us under a lot of pressure early in the game, but our lads stuck to their guns, and they got the reward they deserved in the end.
"We were possibly a bit nervous during the first ten minutes, but the lads kept doing what we told them to do, and I thought our fitness came into play as the match wore on.
"You could see in the last fifteen minutes there was only one team that had the fitness to go the distance, but, in fairness to Macroom, they never gave up, and you'd have to admire them for that.
"I told them afterwards that they could be back next year if their attitude is right, that's the target for them now, and I'm sure they won't be too far away."