GAA Football

Corofin one of the great club sides says Kilcoo skipper Conor Laverty

Conor Laverty on the attack in Saturday's All-Ireland Club Championship semi-final against Ballyboden at Breffni Park. Pic Philip Walsh.
Andy Watters

KILCOO joint-captain Conor Laverty rates Kilcoo’s All-Ireland final opponents Corofin as one of the best club sides ever to play Gaelic Football.

A decade on from his previous All-Ireland final appearance (the Down versus Cork Sam Maguire decider in 2010), 35-year-old father of four Laverty remains pivotal to his club’s chances in the January 19 showpiece against the Galway and Connacht champions.

After victories against Nemo Rangers in 2018 and Kerry’s Dr Crokes last year, Corofin are chasing an unprecedented three in-a-row against a Down outfit in its first ever All-Ireland final.

“They are probably one of the best, if not the best club team there's ever been,” said Laverty.

“But we are just happy with where we are. We are delighted with how we are going and delighted to be there. Corofin are going for three in-a-row and that's something in its own.

“They are massive favourites going into the game and they play a great brand of football. We know the task we are up against, it's going to be an extremely difficult match.

“But hopefully we can go there and produce a performance and do ourselves proud and do our village proud. That's what we will be looking for.”

Corofin won the first of their three All-Ireland titles in 2015 with an impressive 1-14 to 0-7 win over a Slaughtneil side managed by current Kilcoo bainisteoir Mickey Moran. Despite their relative lack of experience, Kilcoo have good players all over the field and will not fear the Galway aristocrats.

“I think the best way to look at it is, no matter what, it's 15 men against 15 men,” said Laverty.

“And there's a set of goalposts at either side of the pitch and whichever team performs the best at the end of the day, is going to win.

“It's going to be a very challenging game. They are very well experienced, a well-oiled machine.

“We are just going there to fully concentrate on ourselves and our own performance.”

Win, lose or draw on Sunday-week, this Kilcoo side have inspired a generation of young Magpies to follow in their footsteps. Laverty, the coaching officer in the club, explained that the expressive football played by the seniors has filtered down to underage level.

“If you were to watch our under 8s or U10s, they would be at the same craic as our seniors - playing good football,” he said.

“We were at an U8 blitz this year and I think we scored 11 goals and 10 of them were palmed goals. It's just our style of play and we have had that for the past number of years. We have a template and a structure in place of how we want to go about things from U6s right through to senior level.

“It's important and right from the start of every year whenever we sorting coaches out, whenever we are talking about coaches we are trying to get people with the right mentality - that sort of Kilcoo thing, how we play our football and what we expect of them.”

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