Last Monday morning I had to drive to Dublin for an early appointment in the “Big Smoke”. At just after 5am I passed the St Michael’s local hostelry in Bushy Park in Galway city.
The lights were still on and the club colours, flags, and bunting were blowing proudly in the early morning breeze. Perhaps, there were still even a few stragglers floating around celebrating their club’s return to the senior ranks for the first time since 1991.
And who could blame them, because it is fantastic to see St Michael’s back up in the premier league for 2009 and it is great to have two senior sides back in Galway city.
Salthill may have the bigger reputation and resources, but there is great work and hard graft going on within the St Michael’s club.
Team manager Pat Regan has assembled a talented and hard-working side, and for 20 minutes last Sunday in Tuam Stadium they played some scintillating football, perhaps the best that we have seen by any club side in the county this year.
The spine of the side are all very capable footballers and from Robbie Hannon, up through Alan Glynn, who had a fine game on Shay Walsh last weekend, Peter Ruane, county senior panellist Eddie Hoare, who tore into the game at a vital stage, his midfield partner Patrick Regan, team captain Greg Rogan, wing-forward Frank Daly, and full-forward Michael Feeney, they have the basis to build a team that should compete effectively at senior level - assuming, that is, they stay together and build on their success this season.
Many of the St Michael’s players have starred with St Mary’s College in the past decade and have benefitted from the coaching of the teaching staff there and of course the under-age coaches at the club itself. You invariably reap what you sow and the efforts by many coaches, committee members, parents, sponsors, and supporters over the past few years is what has brought St Michael’s back to senior football. Well done to them.
In their purple patch last Sunday they played a very attractive brand of football with some terrific kick passing and direct play that was far superior to the fare served up in the county senior final.
Had they not shot so many unnecessary wides, the margin of their victory would have been much greater than a one-point margin over a gallant Glenamaddy side that will be gutted it did not produce a winning performance on such an important occasion. Glen will have to regroup now and try to aim for promotion via the league, which will not be easy after going down in the championship final.
With Salthill likely to be relegated to 1B of the senior league for 2009, the inevitable clash between the two city sides in next year’s league is one to be anticipated.