Quinn enjoys testing his ability against the best
ON Wednesday night, as the biting cold enveloped Parnell Park, Mossy Quinn emerged from the dressing-rooms.
Still in his shorts, and with a heavily strapped leg, a strong sense of satisfaction warded off the pain and kept him warm. It was his second county medal, but this one was special. When he finished with Dublin last year, Vincent's got his full attention for the first time since before he made his county debut in 2003.
"It is different because I've been with the group all year, whereas when you're with the county you're in and out at times," Quinn smiled.
"In previous years, you'd see Ger (Brennan) and Diarmuid (Connolly) there. This year we just asked them to come back and do their own jobs, whereas before we've asked too many of them to come back.
"This year, as a group, we've worked very hard on our own stuff. The core club group have worked very hard to get ourselves up to a level and then let them add to it rather than expecting them to drag us over the line.
"I like to compete, I like to mark guys who push me. I enjoyed marking Philly McMahon over the two games. It was tough going, but you push yourself against the best and you see how you mark yourself against them. I've enjoyed the whole year and, hopefully, there's a bit more to go yet."
In his acceptance speech, captain Ger Brennan referenced the passing of Kevin Heffernan and the Dublin legend also had a profound influence on Quinn from early in his career.
"I was lucky, I came out of minor a long time ago and myself and Kevin Golden, from this team, went straight to the intermediates and Heffo was the manager. We probably played for a year and towards the end of the season we were up with the seniors.
"For the first six months after I came out of minor, it was a great education, he was brilliant. As an 18 or 19-year-old, you're kind of in awe of him. Obviously, I wasn't born when Heffo's Army was around, but everyone knew who he was and you could just see the way he carried himself and how he read players and read people.
"He helped me a huge amount over those first few months and you could always see him in the club over the years. I think he had a hand in everything that's gone on and been good in Vincent's."
On Sunday, the Marino outfit will line out for the fourth time in 13 days in the Leinster Club SFC against Westmeath champions St Loman's, some of whom were in Parnell Park on Wednesday night.
Their thoughts had already turned to that assignment as manager Tommy Conroy brought his squad for a late night swim in Fairview to aid their recovery.
"I'm a big believer in that if you achieve something, you have to enjoy it," Quinn said. "It's hard, though. We're aware we have a game on Sunday and it's a quick turnaround from the replay. We'll be managing our bodies now and see what we can get out of it. We've a big squad and guys will come in.
"It's the Westmeath champions, so they've obviously had a couple of weeks and have probably been looking at us the last couple of days – it's going to be a big ask. All we can do is prepare, try to get ourselves right and try to recover. mentally we'll try not to celebrate too hard and see if we can get switched back on."
The last time the marino side emerged from Dublin, they went on to celebrate on St Patrick's day.