The top two club football sides at minor level over the past few years, St James and Corofin, face off this Saturday at 2.30pm in Pearse Stadium in the county minor “A” final.
St James annexed the 2006 and 2007 county titles, beating Caherlistrane and Annaghdown respectively, while Corofin saw off Killanin in last year’s decider. Based on that kind of blue chip pedigree it promises to be a humdinger of a game and one well worth attending.
Sean Conroy is the St James’ manager and he is hopeful his side can improve on the form that eventually saw off Michéal Breathnach’s after a replay in the West Board final.
“We have no injury worries going into the game which is a great thing and we are hopeful that we will play to the best of our ability. Corofin is a good side. They will start as favourites, but we have some fine young players on our team and we will be giving it our best shot.”
St. James will be looking to the likes of Johnny Duane, Michael Elwood, Philip Ryan, Eoghan O’Regan, Shane Coughlan, Sean Glynn, Michael Fahy, highly rated goal-keeper Nigel Walsh and team captain Ronan O’Connell to propel them to their third title in four years.
Corofin minor manager again this season is the amiable Martin Collins and he is joined in the management team by Pat McHugh and Paddy Joe Langan.
The current county champions will be looking to the likes of team captain Niall Collins, county minors Ronan Steede and Éanna Langan, Ian Burke, Kieran Cunningham, Alan Molloy, Enda Fleming, Seán Silke and Thomas Healy to lead their charge.
Keep an eye out too for Galway All-Ireland winning minor hurling full-back Daithí Burke who is a terrific prospect in both codes. Daithí lined out at centre-back last year in the county final and gave a fabulous display of positional play and distribution.
St James minor coach and St Jarlath’s college teacher and football trainer Terry O’Regan will know both sets of players inside out this Saturday.
O’Regan has coached many of the St James players and his own son Eoghan who lines out at centre-forward on Saturday for the past decade or more at different grades.
Likewise he has taught and coached the vast majority of the Corofin team which lines out this weekend at schools levels too over the past five years, from first year up to senior level last year.
The Clonakilty native was bursting with anticipation for Saturday’s clash.
“It promises to be a fantastic county final. My loyalties are 100 per cent with St James, but I have huge time for all the Corofin lads that we have had in St Jarlath’s over the past few years.
“They have some marvellous players and it will take us all our time to beat them. But no team can expect to win a county final easily. Both sides play good clean football so it has the makings of a great game and may the best team win.”