Wednesday 19 December 2018

Back-to-basics focus brings best out of Crokes - McGowan

Ross McGowan of Kilmacud Crokes during the AIB Leinster GAA Club Football Finals Launch at the GAA Games Development Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Ross McGowan of Kilmacud Crokes during the AIB Leinster GAA Club Football Finals Launch at the GAA Games Development Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Ahead of Sunday's Leinster Club SFC final clash with Longford champions Mullinalaghta, Kilmacud's Ross McGowan believes Johnny Magee has the team playing "Crokes football".

Before this season, the Stillorgan men hadn't won a Dublin title since 2010 but with Magee in charge, they have swept to a county crown and go in search of a fifth Leinster title on Sunday.

"We feel like we're playing Crokes football and that's evident from what the management have been expressing to us," says McGowan who has won All-Ireland medals with Dublin at minor and U-21 level.

"It's great to have their experience as well. You have senior lads on the team at the moment who have played with those lads who are now involved in management back in the noughties, so there's a lot of experience there, not just in the team but in the management."

And McGowan reckons Crokes have benefited from playing more on instinct this time around, rather than trying to analyse every moment of the game.

"In the last few years we probably dissected games too much and we probably just didn't focus on the fundamentals," adds McGowan, who has played O'Byrne Cup football for Dublin.

"Like, this year it's about going out and expressing yourself, playing football and not necessarily dissecting things down to the minimum.

"It's about going out there and playing ball.

"We focused heavily on the basics this year, simple stuff; execution of the foot-pass, the handpass, working in the scoring zones, basic stuff that if you get right then everything else falls into place and that's what's been happening over the last couple of months."

And while Crokes have a proud tradition in Leinster, they face a Mullinalaghta side with only a fraction of the resources.

But McGowan is wary about the challenge they pose after winning three county titles on the bounce.

"Mullinalaghta, yeah, it's a great story, I think it's 1950 the last time they had won the Longford title and they've won three in a row there in the last three years.

"They're really building a strong team so, you know, there's 15 men on the pitch at the end of the day and that's kind of how we look at it.

"We just know that the challenge Mullinalaghta are going to bring to us on Sunday is going to be huge."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport