NA FIANNA minor football manager John Caffrey has paid tribute to his players following their noteworthy league and championship double that was confirmed with their league decider success last Tuesday evening.
That 2-13 to 2-8 victory over a talented Ballymun Kickhams in Páirc Ciceam highlighted the battling qualities that have served this bunch of players so well over a lengthy but ultimately successful campaign.
"It is a great achievement for all of the panel," said Caffrey.
"We are lucky to have a lot of young lads who have the right attitude and who have kept their feet on the ground, despite some of the success that they have achieved down the years," he said.
Given Ballymun's misfortune in missing out on qualification for the championship semi-finals, it was clear that the hosts would give everything in overturning their near neighbours.
So it proved with Paddy Christie's charges impressing in the opening-half, trailing by 1-4 to 0-4 despite playing against the elements with Seán Caffrey netting a crucial goal for Na Fianna.
The Glasnevin outfit fell behind in the third quarter but an Alistair Fitzgerald goal following a typically incisive run from Aaron Byrne (pictured, above) proved the catalyst for a strong Na Fianna finish with points by Gavin King, Paul O'Hanlon and Glenn O'Reilly helping ease the visitors home.
"Ballymun were well up for it and there is a good, healthy rivalry between the teams so I was delighted that the lads didn't panic in the second-half when we fell behind," said Caffrey.
"We have some very strong leaders within the team and with lads away with Dublin panels over the summer, other players have come in and done a wonderful job in keeping us competitive and getting us to the league final. Those lads deserve particular praise and I've been thrilled with how all of the players have applied themselves and winning both the league and championship is a fair reward for their efforts," he added.