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Sar signs are good as Gerry leads Lucan

GERRY MESCALL played three times in Croke Park. He won all three games.

"It's just as well I didn't play there anymore. I might have ruined my record," he smiles.

These days Gerry manages the AFL 3 Lucan Sarsfields side. Back then, he was playing for Scoil Uí Chonaill.

"I'm from Clare. I played all my football there before coming to Dublin. 1986 was my first year playing senior championship in Dublin and we won the senior football championship.

"I was probably saying to myself that winning titles in Dublin was going to be easy but it didn't turn out like that."

Gerry was a forward. In the semi-final that year, Scoil defeated Parnells in the semi-final in Croke Park. "We beat Thomas Davis in the final in Croke Park and the unusual thing about that game was that Thomas Davis only scored a point."

Gerry completed his Croke Park three-match trick the following season when Scoil knocked out Kilmacud Crokes in the first round.

"They were lovely times at Scoil. It's a long time ago now -- 26 years. The game in Dublin has changed so much.

"The levels of fitness, the pace and the physicality of it have increased hugely. It was always physical, but the guys back then weren't tuned into nutrition and all that sort of thing.

"There is a much more professional approach to it now. And not just at senior level in Dublin. We are playing Division 3 football and we are meeting a lot of first teams."

This is Gerry's first year with the Lucan side. He managed the Lucan minors that won the Minor B Championship crown last term.

"Several of those lads have graduated onto our squad and onto the first team. Division 3 is a demanding standard and it's a good achievement for Lucan to have their second team in such a high grade of football.

"We have a fine set-up here. I'm lucky to have such a first-class management team in Conor Bresnan, Dave Herlihy, Mick McGrath and Ed O'Brien.

"Our focus this season will be on maintaining our Division 3 status and taking it from there. We were pleased with our opening league game at home to Clann Mhuire. The lads played well and it was a hard-earned point."

Nobody was playing better than the Carlow Colt, Garvan Ware, who was majestic at midfield.

"Garvan rolled back the years. He was magnificent against Clann Mhuire," judged Gerry.

"His fitness was impressive. He's an example to everybody."