Kiltimagh keep it in the family with six Lydon brothers
THE six Lydon brothers from Kiltimagh bring the idea that 'club is family' to a whole new level.
Noel (29), Keith (27), Paul (26), Aidan (24), Liam (21) and David (18) are all part of the Kiltimagh squad that will contest Sunday's All-Ireland club JFC final against Kerry's Castlegregory in Croke Park.
Last year, Kiltimagh won their first Mayo junior championship since 1967 -- when the brothers' father Johnny captained the side.
The club had a stint at senior level in the 2000s and lost an intermediate final in 2007, but after a desperate season in 2008 they found themselves relegated to junior status last season.
According to Aidan Lydon, the club struggled to find a trainer in the early part of last year. Selectors Martin McCaffrey and Brian Cunningham took training until Mick Regan saw enough in them to take over.
"No one would take us at the start of the year," said Aidan. "We had just been relegated. No one wanted us. But we got it together and got a few players back."
The Lydons aren't the only set of brothers on the squad. There will be pairs of Gallaghers, Murtaghs, Carrolls and Forkans involved on Sunday.
"We're a small club and our pick doesn't go too far out of the town, just a few miles. But there's good spirit in there; we're a tight-knit group," said Aidan.
After their Mayo success, Kiltimagh entered the Connacht championship in hope more than expectation.
"We didn't know what to expect," said Aidan. "We won the semi-final and then beat a good Spideal team in the Connacht final after extra-time, a real tit-for-tat game that we edged, and we didn't look back after that.
"We started to believe then and seemed to have the edge on Emyvale the last day. Now we're in an All-Ireland final in Croke Park -- it doesn't get any better than that."