Wednesday 23 January 2019

Trevor confident Glyde can learn from final heartache

GAA Anglo Printers JFC Final: Glyde Rangers v Dundalk Young Irelands, Sunday October 7, 3.30pm, St Brigid’s Park, Dowdallshill

John Savage

After captaining Glyde Rangers to defeat in the final 12 months ago, Trevor O'Brien feels his team are better prepared to go one better next Sunday and land the Junior Championship.

At 32 he's one of the team's veterans at this stage, yet the skipper hasn't tasted a single championship success since the Baile Talun combination won the Minor crown way back in 2001 and that's a statistic he's determined to put right. More importantly, though, O'Brien wants to see Glyde Rangers competing regularly at Intermediate level in the championship, not just in the league where they held their own in Division 2 this year after their promotion.

'We want to make up for last year big time,' said O'Brien, referring to that one-point loss at the hands of Glen Emmets in the final.

'We probably thought it was going to be easier than it was, but I think we felt the pressure before the match as well. We had to be in the dressing-room by a certain time and we had to do a proper warm-up and that was new to us.

'This year we are a bit more laid back and we'll just be focusing on ourselves.'

While there are some very promising underage players coming down the line, no new blood has filtered through in time for this year and so it's a very familiar-looking fifteen who will line out in Dowdallshill.

'I'm fairly confident that we can win,' insisted O'Brien. 'The team is stronger than it was last year because we have Gareth Moran and his brother Kevin back. Gareth's a scorer and likes to get on the ball and take lads on. He wants to beat every man who's marking him and score.

'Kevin had settled down with family life, but he was at the final last year and felt he could have helped us, and I think it was at the back of his mind then to come back.

'Apart from them it's the same team.'

Having gained promotion to the Division 2 league, Glyde made a terrible start, losing their first five games, but they subsequently won four out of five to secure their status even before the last-round match against St Mochta's. Three of the victories were by one kick of the ball and O'Brien feels those tough matches will stand to Glyde against a Young Irelands team who won 11 consecutive matches in Division 3 by an 18-point margin on average.

'I was at Young Irelands' last game against Roche [semi-final] and it was a close, low-scoring match. Dean Maguire and Derek Maguire up front are good lads, but they get players behind the ball.

'The rumour is that they are favourites, but I feel that we will beat them - I probably shouldn't be saying that!

'Surviving in Division 2 was a big achievement for us. We know how hard it is to come up from Junior - most teams have gone straight back down and we had a bad start, but we had a lot of difficult games.

'We beat the Fechin's who are in the Intermediate final, so if we could get back to that level I'd be confident that Division 2 football will stand to us, the same as Glen Emmets last year.

'All the talk then was about us, not having lost a game, but you can only play the game that's in front of you.'

With a number of Glyde players entering the twilight of their careers, there will be speculation about one or two retirements whether the Tallanstown win or lose next Sunday, but O'Brien for one isn't considering hanging up the boots any time soon, even if the opportunity arises to go out on a high by lifting the Christy Bellew Cup.

'I won the intermediate league twice, but you don't remember them,' he replied when asked about his career honours.

'I have a jar at home that I put the medals in, but if I had a championship medal I'd get it framed. That's the plan!

'I'm 32 now and I have a kid and another on the way, but what else would you be at? I'd be at home watching the telly or playing a bit of golf, so as long as she lets me go out to training I'll keep going!'

Drogheda Independent