I have nothing to prove: St Enda's Glengormley boss Frank Fitzsimons
FORMER Antrim boss Frank Fitzsimons says he has “nothing to prove” to anybody after delivering county and provincial titles to St Enda’s, Glengormley in his first season in charge.
Fitzsimons was not re-appointed as Antrim senior football manager alongside Gearoid Adams at the end of the 2017 season despite the pair performing well in the job.
The joint managers had introduced a host of exciting young players in their final season in charge but the county executive opted for a nominations process.
Fitzsimons, however, has no axe to grind with his native county and played down his contribution at St Enda’s this year who face Connacht champions An Spideal in Sunday’s All-Ireland IFC semi-final in Navan.
“I never felt I had anything to prove,” said the amiable Lamh Dhearg clubman.
“As far as St Enda's goes, this is being in the right place at the right time as much as anything else. Granted, I’ve been able to do a lot more work with these lads, I’m more hands-on but St Enda’s is a really well-run club.
Fitzsimons and his managerial side-kick Pat Hughes are still regular attenders of Antrim’s games, with Fitzsimons adding: “I’d love to see them getting out of Division Four this year.”
Casting himself as something of an accidental hero at the north Belfast club, Fitzsimons was overwhelmed by the celebrations after his side defeated Cavan champions Mullahoran in the Ulster decider at the start of December.
“It’s probably up there with anything I’ve done. The momentum has been brilliant and you can see what it means to the people of St Enda’s – it’s for those people, the way they enjoyed the victories and celebrated on the pitch with the players, their families and friends was brilliant.”
St Enda’s have played several challenge games – including run-outs against Ulster senior champions Gweedore and Queen’s – in preparation for Sunday’s semi-final showdown against An Spideal.
“They are a big, strong side and have a couple of good midfielders. I’ve watched three of their matches and they were behind in three of them, they drew a couple and won in extra-time. They are a good side. Any side that comes out of Connacht are going to be a good side.
Fitzsimons has no major injury concerns ahead of Sunday's tie, with the team’s heartbeat Philly Curran getting back to full fitness after injury while Peter Healy, Eoin Nagle [both UCD], Odhran Eastwood and captain James McAuley [both Queen’s] available after being forced to withdraw from Sigerson Cup action due to a clash of fixtures.