Byrne expects Curran to graduate from Kickhams to county role
THE man who helped broker the deal to bring Paul Curran to Ballymun Kickhams has tipped the 1995 All-Ireland winner to have a big future in inter-county management.
Derek Byrne played for Round Towers, Clondalkin before switching to Kickhams and he subsequently helped persuade Curran to take charge of the side ahead of their 2011 campaign.
And the switch has been an unqualified success, with Curran steering the club to their first county title in 30 years on the October Bank Holiday Monday.
"He definitely has the potential to do it (inter-county management), but I think it will be in steps," said Byrne. "You look at Jim (Gavin) – he had the Dublin U-21 job and then he got the senior job.
"Dessie Farrell is the same. He looked after the Dublin minors and is now with the U-21s.
"I'm sure the next time a job comes around, Paul's name will be on top of the list."
Just as they did when they last won the county title 30 years ago, Ballymun beat Mullingar Shamrocks in the first round of Leinster and, as was also the case in 1982, Portlaoise stand in their way in the final. The Dublin champions are slight favourites with the bookies after conceding a mere 12 points against Mullingar and Sarsfields of Kildare.
"We have a game plan and it's all about executing it day in, day out. We've been sticking to it all season and will be aiming to do the same on Sunday," explained Byrne.
A rigorous training regime, that has included some early morning sessions, has played its part, but Byrne was quick to credit the management with how they brought the players back down to earth after their Dublin success.
"It would have been easy to continue celebrating for another week, but every squad member was at training again on the Thursday and we were raring to go.
"You don't know when this is going to come around again. It's been 30 years since we were in a Leinster final, so it's important to grasp the chance with both hands."