Gaels 'up against it' says Boyle
When former Fermanagh footballer Ciarán Boyle moved to London for work two years ago, playing football for a new club wasn't part of his plans. He was committed to his home side Brookeborough and spent months flying over for games and training.
However, he caught the eye of the London management while playing a charity game for injured Fermanagh man Mark McGovern and was asked to join the London squad.
He decided to take them up on the invitation but that meant finding a club to join in London. There were a few clubs in the city interested in signing up the former inter-county player but his neighbour at home in Fermanagh, Barry McDonagh, gave him a gentle nudge in the direction of Tír Chonaill Gaels.
However, Boyle is living in Cambridge, which is a 130-mile round trip so it requires a lot of effort to play.
"It takes a long time to get there and back, usually about an hour and a half each way," explains Boyle.
"And that's a couple of nights a week. There's a great set-up in the club, it's very homely but is still professional. Paddy Carr, the former Kilmacud manager, is the manager. The chairman and secretary keep an eye on how everyone is doing, it's a welcoming place.
"But when people move to London it's for work not football so that comes first. It's hard to get everyone there every night."
But it's been worth the effort for Boyle. He won his first county title when Tír Chonaill Gaels beat Kerry Kingdom Gaels in the London county final and will today play against one the best club sides in the country in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
"If you look at club football everyone knows that Crossmaglen have set the marker but the next team that comes to mind is Dr Crokes. Over the last few years they have brought their game on in leaps and bounds.
"I've seen different bits of them over the last few years you just have to admire some of their football; there is a lot of pride and tradition in Kerry.
"We're definitely up against it; it's one of those games where we'll be hoping that outside factors might play a role, like the travel or the conditions. But either way we'll give it our best shot anyway."
Sunday Indo Sport