Wednesday 16 January 2019

Loss could yet be the making of Crokes - O'Sullivan

Dublin star Cian O’Sullivan with Caoimhe (13), Rossa (9), Cuan (11) and Saoirse (6) Moore at the launch of the 37th GOAL Mile in Dublin. People of all ages are encouraged to join their local mile this Christmas – visit www.goalmile.org for details. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Dublin star Cian O’Sullivan with Caoimhe (13), Rossa (9), Cuan (11) and Saoirse (6) Moore at the launch of the 37th GOAL Mile in Dublin. People of all ages are encouraged to join their local mile this Christmas – visit www.goalmile.org for details. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

In the normal course of things, Cian O'Sullivan and Kilmacud Crokes would have been allowed to retire to Stillorgan to lick their wounds in peace after last Sunday's Leinster club SFC final defeat.

But Mullinalaghta's success was so against the grain it made the national news, while the Longford club are also expected to make an appearance on the 'Late Late Show' tonight.

The rest of the country revelled in Mullinalghta's against-the-odds win, meaning there was nowhere to look for the vanquished Crokes men.

As the days have rolled on O'Sullivan can begin to appreciate what Mullinalaghta pulled off.

However in the early part of the week, it was like nails on a chalkboard.

"It is difficult. It's like any final you lose with any team. You're fragile," he said at the launch of the 37th year of the Goal Mile.

"We stuck with the group on Sunday night and on the Monday, a few of us met up again. Not to take anything away from Mullinalaghta.

"It's an incredible thing that they've done; winning three Longfords in a row and now winning Leinster as well.

"All credit to them. It is a fantastic story and it's one that, as the days have passed on, I've been able to appreciate a little bit more.

"But we're footballers. We're competitive. We want to go out there and win.

So from our perspective, that's all we were focused on on Sunday. And not to do that… yeah, it's very disappointing."

The passing of the days has brought perspective. Overall, the year was a good one for the club and he believes their Leinster final loss might serve them well down the road.

"I have been involved in teams before where that potential distraction (the favourites' tag) has been looming and that's probably the first time this group of players had to deal with that.

"Going into the other games that probably wasn't the narrative and it is something that is difficult to manage within the squad.

"I think that will be one of the key learning points we take away from it. Looking back on some of the days being involved with Dublin in the past when we were beaten by Meath in Leinster (2010) and Donegal in the All-Ireland semi-final (2014), you learn so much from the defeats and they were key moments in the journey this Dublin team has been on over the last couple of years.

"From my perspective I was looking at that game on Sunday thinking hopefully it will be a key point for us over the next couple of years like those games were for Dublin."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport