GAA Football

Ulster Club just wasn't meant to be in 2020: victorious Cargin boss Damian Cassidy

Cargin's Kevin O'Boyle enjoys the moment as the Erin's Own club made it three in a row Picture: Hugh Russell

CARGIN’S three-in-a-row winning manager Damian Cassidy says the Antrim champions would have been better equipped for a crack at Ulster this year – but understands why the GAA didn’t proceed with the provincial and All-Ireland series at club level.

Cargin suffered first round and preliminary round defeats to Gweedore and Derrygonnelly of Donegal and Fermanagh, respectively, on the provincial stage over the past two seasons, and won’t get the chance to right the wrongs of this bitter defeats.

But while other managers have bemoaned the decision to shelve club competitions after the county championships had concluded in order to make way for the inter-county season, Cassidy said: “That’s life. It’s Covid. The GAA has made decisions and that’s how it is. It’s over to the county game now; they’re trying to accommodate everybody. There are no right or wrong answers, everybody is doing their best.

“We’ve been very disappointed [in Ulster] over the last couple of seasons, but in saying that we are in a much better place now. The progression we have made, we are a much better team now, and Creggan are also a better team.

“It was a fantastic county final and it’s fantastic to represent Antrim football in that way – that’s very important.”

Cassidy guided his native club Bellaghy and Clonoe O’Rahilly’s to three county finals each and has achieved the same feat with Cargin in consecutive years, winning all three Antrim deciders.

“I couldn’t and won’t compare this win because I was in finals with Bellaghy and Clonoe and now three with Cargin. All those players put in a massive shift for us. It’s the relationships and memories you have with people and you just have a warm feeling when you go back and meet all those people again. I’m very grateful to Cargin. It’s just another chapter and a great one that I have enjoyed.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

GAA Football