Chris Snow hoping to double Ederney's Fermanagh SFC title tally
A LOT has changed for the Ederney club since their last appearance on senior county final day 12 years ago – and Chris Snow is hoping that the outcome can be altered as well as they attempt to end Derrygonnelly’s recent dominance in Fermanagh.
Snow, more known outside the Erne county for his exploits between the sticks, was a young 17-year-old corner-back who was caught up in an Enniskillen Gaels storm in 2006 as the St Joseph’s club were easily brushed aside 1-12 to 0-7.
Getting there had been a remarkable achievement in itself. The side had to lobby the county board hard to be graded as a senior team rather than intermediate, and that decision was looking rather foolish as they struggled in Division Two. However, wins over Roslea, Derrygonnelly and Lisnaskea secured a shock final spot.
Their appearance this year is a surprise to nobody. Since that chastening defeat in ’06, they have operated almost exclusively in Division One and picked up a league title five years ago - their first since 1969.
The year before that (1968), they won their one and only New York Gold Cup but Snow is convinced that they are now in a much better position to try and double their tally.
“The landscape was different compared to how it is now heading into Sunday,” said the Ederney captain.
“Twelve years ago we weren’t expected to come through any rounds. We were a Division Two team at the time and it was probably the start of getting the wheels in motion to change things in the club.
“I can only speak for myself but I felt we were maybe caught up in the occasion that day. We were a Division Two team coming up against the tail-end of that great Enniskillen side and it showed.
“Now we are a seasoned Division One team and have been competing there for the last 10 years. We have won a league title and we have been in league finals.
“While we haven’t maybe put it together in the championship until this year, we do feel as a club that this is somewhere we should be more often.”
Manager Mickey Cassidy provides some nice symmetry between the two most recent final appearances. He was in charge in 2006 and he’s back at this juncture again in the second year of his most recent spell with the St Joseph’s men.
Snow said that Cassidy has always demanded higher standards, and he hopes that leads to a day to remember half a century on from the club’s sole triumph.
“Mickey took over in 2005 and started bringing a bit more discipline about the club and setting standards,” said Snow.
“Everyone was probably getting into that frame of mind, setting higher standards in everything to bring the whole thing on.
“Up until then it was maybe let go a wee bit, boys playing soccer on Saturdays and you mightn’t have the same team from week to week.
“A big change of mindset occurred at that time and Mickey played a big part in driving that through.
“There was a young team coming on then and it set the standards for what would follow.
“We have stuck to those standards and it has really brought us on. We went from a mid-table Division Two team to a side that usually finishes in the top four in Division One.”
Snow wasn’t part of Rory Gallagher’s Fermanagh squad this season and he believes that his club form has benefitted as a result, especially as he has been able to focus on being an outfield player.
“I was a goalkeeper in soccer and that’s where it came in, I always would have played outfield for Ederney and played county minors at corner-back.
“We wouldn’t be blessed with a great number of goalkeepers in Ederney so the odd year I would have to drop back into goals.
“Not being on the county panel this year has probably stood to me a bit. When you’re with the county you’re doing a lot of goalkeeping training and you spend a lot of time on that side of your game.
“This year I have been outfield all year and focussing on that and feeling the benefit of that.”