GAA Football

An Gaelteacht mentor Dara Ó Cinnéide looking forward to clash with the Moy

An Gaelteacht mentor Dara Ó Cinnéide is looking forward to the Kerry champions' clash with Tyrone's Moy
Andy Watters

THREE-time Kerry All-Ireland winner Dara Ó Cinnéide sounded out two men about taking over as manager of An Gaeltacht for the 2017 season and both insisted on him being a part of it if they were to get involved.

“Both Marc (Ó Sé, player/manager) and Conall (Ó Cruadhlaoich, co-manager) said they would get involved only if I was there so here I was with another role in the club (alongside being their PRO) as a selector with the senior team,” said the well known TG4 host.

The workload gives him an appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes at club level and Cinnéide is a believer that a calendar year finish to all competitions in the GAA is better for everyone both on and off the pitch.

“The Kerry Division One final against Dr Croke's (played the Sunday before Christmas) was a non-event for us because we had to give some of our starters a break with the All-Ireland semi-final in mind," O Cinnéide explained.

"Christmas felt very different around the area though because as opposed to being a time of relaxation and reflection there was a massive sense around that things were not finished.

"I do think the scheduling supports the idea of a calendar year finish for everything, not just for players but also club officers who have to do the work behind the scenes all throughout."

Regardless of the result of Sunday's eagerly anticipated All-Ireland Intermediate semi-final against Moy, O Cinnéide says his club will have to keep training with their focus on a return to the senior ranks in Kerry.

“We're going to find ourselves in a situation after Sunday where we're preparing for either an All-Ireland final or else having to knuckle down and get ready to return as a senior club in the county.

"With the changes to the local calendar and the Club Championships in Kerry being held in April we need to prepare for that almost straight away should we lose on Sunday,” he said.

An Gaeltacht held a fundraising event by honouring the contribution of the Ó Sé brothers back in December but despite the presence of Kevin Hughes and members of the Killeeshil St Mary's club at the event O Cinnéide said little about Moy was given away to them by their Tyrone visitors.

“It's understandable why there is a lot of interest in this match because of the Kerry v Tyrone thing but both clubs in this instance are only concentrating on trying to get to an All-Ireland final," he said.

"Even though Marc and Sean Cavanagh had very similar timelines in their inter-county careers, the possibility of them marking each other in the modern game is very slim because it's hardly ever number five marking number 12 any more.

"What I find as well in these games is that it's normally the non-inter-county players in both sides that are the difference. We've tried to move it up a level with each performance since we have been on this run and we need to keep doing that on Sunday.”

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