Crozier relishing All-Ireland final at Croke Park with Galbally
PADDY Crozier has enjoyed a great managerial career both at county and club level but he will break new ground on Sunday when he leads Galbally out at Croke Park to take on Kerry and Munster champions Rathmore in the All-Ireland Intermediate final.
When the Ballymaguigan man came in along with Joe McMahon this year to the Pearse's club, the remit was an immediate return to senior football in Tyrone and while that has been achieved they now stand 60 minutes from going all the way to national glory and the former Derry boss is relishing every moment of it.
“It has been a brilliant journey so far to reach the All Ireland final,” he said.
“We could never have imagined it in fairness but the type of fellas that we are dealing with here, the effort that they have put in this past year, is second to none and they fully deserve everything that is coming to them.”
In the Saturday's semi-final against Dunmore MacHale's, Galbally struck for three first half goals from Ronan Nugent against the wind to give them a solid platform but Crozier knew that the game was far from over and it took a late goal from Daniel Kerr to see the Tyrone champions through after they had fallen behind to a Padraig Costello 57th minute free.
“I have always said in all my years in football that the scores that you get against the wind are like gold dust and Ronan hit three unbelievable goals in the first half when he came straight through the middle,” he said.
“I saw these boys against Ballyhaunis in the Connacht semi-final and they did the exact same as they did today, they played their best football against the breeze. They made us work hard for the win there, although having said that, we made life hard for ourselves when hitting five wides on the trot.
"Every wide we hit gave them tremendous energy. If we had got two of those scores it would have put us four up and gave us a good foundation to go on and win the match but they came back at us and took the lead.
"At that stage our boys showed great resolve and character and Cormac caught the next kick out and then his distribution into Daniel was top drawer and when Daniel got it there was only one thing on his mind. When you get a situation like that you need the right men on the ball and thankfully we had.”
Kerry and Munster champions Rathmore now stand in Galbally's way of joining Cookstown (twice) and Moy as Tyrone's winners of this competition and Crozier is looking forward to the test where he will come up against a clubman of his own.
“If you look at the history of this competition at Intermediate level Kerry have the best record,” he said.
“Rathmore have some great players and none more so than a clubmate of my own from Ballymaguigan, Christy Spiers. We will enjoy this for the next few days and prepare for Croke Park next Sunday.”