Last Sunday in capturing a third Connacht Minor title in a row our minor team achieved three things. First, they cheered us all up and put a little spring in our step again; second, they did themselves and their families proud — what parent does not dream of seeing his child play in the green and red for their county and then go on to win? — and third, securing Connacht titles following on from two All Ireland final appearances certainly prove that there is a steady flow of talent in the county. How we harness that talent now is a matter for another day.
For manager of the victorious team, Tony Duffy, and his mentors there is also the personal satisfaction of a job well done. Having only taken up the post at the beginning of March leaving a three week run-in to the first league match, to win both league and championship is testament to the management team's ability.
Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser on Wednesday, Duffy said he was delighted with the way it had all worked out. The objective was to win and that had been achieved. However he believed they did not play nearly well enough. Duffy said he felt nerves played a part in the first half display but he was very happy with the way the team stayed positive, stuck to their task, and took the chances when they came in the second half.
Having watched the match back on DVD however, he added there are still areas to work and focus on, and they would be doing just that at the first session back which took place this week. Asked about injuries he did say Darren Coen had picked up a dead leg in an u21 fixture on Tuesday and that was a concern.
So now the focus turns to the All Ireland quarter final joust with Offaly, who were surprisingly beaten in the Leinster final by Longford. No date or time has been confirmed for play-off yet but it is likely the match will take place in Hyde Park, Roscommon, on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Offaly will certainly present another new challenge for the team but we will not dwell on that for now. Instead, let us continue to congratulate the minor squad and management on their Connacht title win and keep those spirits high. Thanks guys for putting a smile back on our faces.