IT'S the most pressurised job in club football in the Kingdom and Noel O'Leary seems to have taken to it like a duck to water.
What other conclusion could you draw? He, along with his co-manager Vince Casey, has already led Dr Crokes to a County Senior Club title, has led his men without a hitch to a County Senior Football Championship Final against Dingle and stands on the cusp of a County League Final appearance against... well against Dingle. The club cream has most certainly risen to the top this year and despite the relative ease of their victory on Sunday, the Crokes boss has reason to be wary for the west Kerry men in the final.
"I've only seen Dingle once in the County League and that was against us and they hammered us off the field. Bate us off the field," he said.
"We've to stop them scoring goals. We've to curb them. We've got to work hard outside in the middle of the field and our halfbacks will have to work harder and our half-forwards will have to work harder to stop the supply of ball going in into them.
"The pressure is on Dingle. Dingle have to come and deliver and we will be waiting."
He readily admits this wasn't a vintage performance by his troops. Perhaps, it's just as well. Vintage semi-final performances often have a habit of not translating themsevles into vintage performances on county final day.
"I suppose we were tired, we're a tired team," O'Leary offered by way of explaination. "The boys found it hard to get going in the first half when they played the extra man it was upsetting us a bit so we pushed on Eoin [Brosnan] on to centre-forward and it helped us immensely.
"Eoin is used to playing there. He can play midfield. He can play centre-forward, so we pushed him on there for the last ten minutes and it helped us settle down at bit and we came out in the second half and played great football, won a lot of breaking ball, kicked five or six points in the second half and I don't think Laune Rangers kicked more than a point."
Laune Rangers' approach to the game stood in contrast with Crokes' – tight and somewhat dour against the great stylists of Kerry football. Most neutrals probably would have preferred a more open contest. It's a sentiment the Crokes boss echoes.
"We played them in the County League and they did the same thing in the County League. They played about fifteen men behind the ball I thought in the County League and it's annoying to be watching it," he commented.
"We found it slow bringing up the ball, but we got there in the end. We got the two points and they did the same thing there today. They played two or three fellas behind the ball and that's why we pushed Eoin up to the forwards." A final word on Cooper. "Why was he the only fella nominated for an All Star in Kerry?" O'Leary asked, before quickly offering an answer.
"Because he's simply the best. Without a doubt. We'll go a long way before we see anybody better than him. There's nobody in Ireland as good as the Gooch, clubwise. He's brilliant. He's not a bottler. You can ask Joe Brolly if he wants to come down and watch the county final, if he wants to watch the Gooch. Why do people come to watch him? Why does every youngster all over Ireland come to meet the the Gooch?"
Sentiments that everyone, Joe Brolly included, would, no doubt, agree with.