GAA Football

Antrim GAA launch Zoomcast chats with Saffron legends

Antrim captain Anto Finnegan recalls the famous 2000 Ulster SFC win over Down in a new Zoomcast.
Pic: Ann McManus

WHILE everyone waits and hopes to get ‘back on the road again’, Antrim GAA has launched a Zoomcast platform to entertain supporters in lockdown.

‘Back on the road again’, the hope and dream for sports players and supporters, is also how former football manager Brian White assesses the impact of the famous Ulster SFC victory over Down which took place just over 20 years ago.

‘Whitey’ was joined on the second Zoomcast by his captain from that day, Anto Finnegan, and host Jerome Quinn.

The Saffrons hadn’t won a senior football championship match for 18 years, so there was an outpouring of emotion – and supporters onto the pitch – after downing the Mournemen.

White recalled: “For me it will never be ‘just a Championship game’, it was more than a Championship game for Antrim. There were a whole lot of statements Down made, intentions being set out…

“That game will always be remembered, for a variety of reasons, and one of them is that we were back on the road again.

“Also our responsibility to the wider group, young men coming through in two or three years… The lads themselves had a big responsibility and they stood up to it. It wasn’t just about the team and it wasn’t just an ordinary Championship game.”

Finnegan agreed that the win lifted Antrim hopes, seeing it as the first step on the road to a provincial decider at the end of the decade:

“It was a great chapter in my life… It was a tremendous journey. What was important for us it that we didn’t allow the rot to set in…Three years later we beat Cavan in Casement. Roll on 2009 and we’re in an Ulster Final. For me it was important to Antrim as a whole.”

The Zoomcast was launched with an interview with popular photographer John ‘Curly’ McIlwaine, which attracted great online viewing. The former Hurling Board member and driving force behind the Saffron Gael website spoke about his life in Gaelic Games.

County PRO Sean Kelly said: "We were delighted and privileged to commence our Zoomcast with the one and only John ‘Curly’ McIlwaine.

“We will post taster Zoomcasts during the week on our official Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms, which continue to soar and are updated on a daily basis. The Zoomcast will then be uploaded to our Antrim GAA YouTube Channel after being viewed on the Antrim GAA Facebook page.

"Backed by main sponsors fonaCAB, the Zoomcasts allow us to further expand on our products such as Antrim GAA TV and Radio. It is my intention to increase the coverage on all aspects of our games which include ladies football, camogie, and handball interviews.”

Indeed former ladies football captain Geardine McCann was the second Zoomcast guest, while camogie legend Jane Adams is lined up, as is former hurling goalkeeper Shane Elliott.

Kelly concluded: “Gaels all over the world very much want to be able to tune in and watch high quality coverage which celebrate our legends. We have a great line-up and Jerome Quinn will have some very interesting questions during these unprecedented times.”

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