Bullish team boss Roche had no doubts about Monivea-Abbey’s ability to win


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Bullish team boss Roche had no doubts about Monivea-Abbey’s ability to win Bullish team boss Roche had no doubts about Monivea-Abbey’s ability to win

By Alan Dooley

IT is not outlandish to state that Gaelic football has changed utterly in the last forty years, but the ball is still round, the playing field and goalposts are still the same size, and the basic principles of hard graft and core skills can lead to success. For Monivea/Abbey manager Francis “Bunt” Roche, a man whose work on the sidelines has covered that timespan, a rare treble had been completed and it was a satisfying accomplishment.

“I won the junior championship in 1985, won the senior county final in 1992, and this was the one missing, so that has completed the treble, and I am a happy man,” Roche stated afterwards, while insisting his faith in his side was well merited. “If I’m being honest about it, I was feeling confident all week. We played senior championship football last year and we lost a lot of games by a point, but that doesn’t get you to where you want to get. You have to go out and perform.

“We did not perform in the first half. We had about five lads play up to the standard required in the first half, but we were still level. I was really confident if we got 10 or 12 lads motoring and playing to their capabilities that we would come out winners in the finish, and that’s the way it happened, and I am grateful to be over the line. Kilconly are a super team and they have played 12 championship matches over the last two years and only lost in two finals, they are some team.”

Monivea/Abbey got a real injection of energy off the bench in the second half and had ace marksman Glenn Kelly to thank for half their scores, and Roche was quick to praise his panel while also agreeing that the four points in a row his side stitched together was a massive momentum switch.

“That was really the winning and losing of the game because we just got a couple of points ahead and I said to our guys, just don’t concede a goal. We closed up shop and got a bit tactical in bringing on defenders for forwards towards the end, closed up shop, and sometimes that can be dangerous, can draw a team onto you, but it worked out in the end.

“I thought Daire King was superb when he came on and every guy stood up, but that’s what I am saying to our guys all year, that we have a massive panel. Cillian (McDaid) was a huge loss to us but we have a massive panel, we have seven or eight lads on the line there that would be on a lot of teams and they made a huge difference when they came on.

“Glenn (Kelly) has a boot like nobody has in our club for many years, he has that magic with his right foot, he can score and he can take frees off his left foot as well. It’s all about getting tuned in and buying into it for him and getting him to realise the qualities that he has. I hope Glenn pushes on this year with the Galway U-20s because he is a class act.”

Pictured: Brian Igoe and Conor O’Neill of Kilconly prepare to halt the progress of Monivea-Abbey’s Glenn Kelly during Saturday’s County Intermediate Football Final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: David Cunniffe.

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