Cronin hails Jack O'Connor influence after latest triumph for the club

Jason O'Connor

EVEN though there might have been a sense of disappointment with their first-half display, St Michaels / Foilmore manager Kieran Cronin was pleased with how his charges performed in the second-half leading to their eventual retention of the South Kerry title.

"We always knew that Dromid would put up a battle, you always expect any team that you play in a South Kerry Final to do the same. We said a few things at half-time in an effort to get things going and I think we showed in the second-half that we could open them up," he said after last Sunday's win in Cahersiveen.

A much tighter defensive display in the second-half was a big factor in his side's win according to Cronin.

"We made it very hard for them to get a shot at the posts with the effort the lads put in back there but the first goal was crucial for us. It definitely gave us the benchmark to power on," he said.

Looking beyond the district, Cronin is hopeful that the club can achieve some more success at county level in the next couple of years.

"You set your standards higher every year I suppose. Personally I don't think we did ourselves justice at county level this year and that is a target I think that we should set ourselves for next year," he feels.

Finally Cronin paid tribute to Jack O'Connor's contribution to the club in the past year.

"I suppose there was no point in having Jack looking out at the tide when he has two sons on the team! He was a great benefit to us with his experience of winning All-Irelands and that's the sort of thing that you just can't buy."

St Michaels / Foilmore Club Chairman and defender Colin Grandfield felt that the standard of football the club played in Division 1 of the County League this year was crucial to overcoming a determined effort from Dromid in the first-half.

"We knew Dromid weren't going to throw in the towel that easily, but we knew at the same time that if we kept plugging away the way that we were going that we would eventually come out on top and I think that is what happened. We were strong on the counter-attack as well when we managed to get the ball off them and I felt that was a big bonus for us too," Grandfield said.

He also feels there is still some scope for the club to make an impact beyond South Kerry.

"The average age of the team is 26 or 27 and the club has some players that are coming through from underage level so if the work is put in I think we might stay in the top tier for another few years. Dr Crokes obviously are so far ahead of everyone at the moment it goes without saying but we're just going to focus on improving ourselves and seeing where that takes us."


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