Sunday 25 August 2019

Cavan native Gumley takes scenic route to Munster glory

Gumley: "I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have an All-Ireland semi-final to look forward to." Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

This wasn't in the plan. When Paddy Gumley signed with Nemo Rangers he thought his best days were behind him.

Gumley had been based in Cork for a couple of years but kept his registration with his native Redhills club in Cavan and made the pilgrimage every weekend to play at home.

It was never going to be a long-term solution and at 33 he decided he had squeezed as much as he could out of playing at home.

It's safe to say winning a Munster club SFC title was a million miles from his thoughts when he decided to join Nemo.

However, that's exactly what happened in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday as the forward landed three points as the Cork men toppled reigning All-Ireland champions Dr Crokes.

"I'm in Cork three years," Gumley (above) explained.

"I used to travel up and down to the club at home for the first year. I felt I gave them my best years and I was 33 when I joined Nemo. I came through the over-age system in Nemo! Junior Cs, As, intermediates and then the seniors.


"Listen, they're a great bunch of lads. When I came down first, the likes of Jimmy Kerrigan were in giving rubs. Up our way, you wouldn't see people with them credentials and medals doing that kind of thing.

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"We've had success (in Redhills). We won a junior in '05, an intermediate in '08 and we were senior for about six years. With the talent that we had, we probably should have contested a senior final.

"There was some unbelievable talent, some lads who would easily walk on to the teams down here. It never materialised. We didn't have the likes of the Jimmy Kerrigans to look up to and bring us on that step further."

He has proved his worth to his adopted club. After Luke Connolly, who had a day to remember when landing 10 points, Gumley was Nemo's next top scorer.

And he can't wait to lock horns with Ulster champions Slaughtneil in February.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have an All-Ireland semi-final to look forward to. As I said, when I finished up with my club I said to myself that they got the best years out of me.

"What happened afterwards was only going to be a bit of craic, meet a few lads and play a bit of football. There was no ambition at all. But once I saw Larry (Kerrigan) and the lads doing their thing and I saw a bit of training... I don't like coming second best either.

"It was just an automatic thing then for me to try and get on the team and keep my place."

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