It should not come as any surprise to see the success of this St Thomas’ side. All the way, much of this group played together and won together at underage.
Darragh Burke was among that golden generation, and the Man of the Match from last Sunday’s county final can now revel in seeing all of the hard work through the years pay off at the highest level.
“Yeah we put in a lot of work when we were young lads down through the years,” Burke explained.
“There were lads over us there for years, Martin Fahy, Joe Cooney, Kevin Cunningham, John Burke, John Regan, and Enda Tannian, they were with us all the way up along. We won a minor in 2008 and that was massive for us and we put it back with the U21 three years later and we won a second U21 after that.
“We knew we’d the work done [this year] and if we kept putting in the work, the likes of Damien McGlynn that came in there, Cian Mahoney, they came in with us and they really drove it on. At training, they’re over your shoulder, pushing you out of the way, you need to be improving the whole time.”
The pressure game St Thomas’ deployed reaped huge dividends for the south Galway side. Their tackle/turnover count was through the roof but it is something they expect of themselves and something they will look to carry forward with them for the exciting challenges ahead in February.
“We said all week that if we don’t put pressure on Mellows, we won’t beat them. We had to be relentless from one to 15 and the five lads that came in. If you’re not influencing the game in some way you’re not doing your job.
“We’ll enjoy this now for a couple of weeks and then we’ll get back at it again because these chances don’t come around too often.”