Éire Óg’s manager is club and Roscommon legend Pat Doorey, who took on the management of the side this year following the team’s narrow defeat to St Dominic’s in last year’s final. His team have performed very well in this year’s championship, coming through the group stages unbeaten and putting up some big scores along the way. In the semi-final, they defeated a fancied Elphin side.
The manager reflected on what has been a long season for the team after a tough start to the year. “We had a torrid start to the year with injuries and other setbacks, but as lads came back into the panel we have settled down and played some good football. We are in the final now and we are enjoying the build-up. It’s nice to be back in the final after losing last year” he said.
Pat says that he has every respect for their opponents, Castlerea. “Castlerea are a very solid outfit. They beat us well in the league but we were missing a few players on that occasion. They are well set up, have some very good forwards and are a real threat. It will take a very good performance for us to be in with a chance of beating them”.
The former Roscommon full-back likes the mixture of younger and more experienced players on the Éire Óg team this year.
“There is a nice balance on the team, between younger lads and the more experienced players. The club has had a bit of success at underage level (along with Michael Glavey’s) over the past couple of years and it has added to the number of younger players in the area. Hopefully they will feature on the senior team in the years to come”.
So is Pat enjoying life back on the sidelines? “Ah I am, but I have had to get used to dealing with the younger generation (laughs). I have to say they are all great lads. They have put in a massive effort. We are a small, rural club and we don’t get to finals very often so we are determined to enjoy it and give it our best shot”.
Éire Óg were narrowly beaten in last year’s final and those memories will be fresh in the players’ minds this Sunday.
“We were in with a chance last year with 10 minutes to go and we didn’t win – so this year hopefully if we are in contention and when we hit the ‘drive for home’ button we can get over the line. It’s a big day for the club and the lads will give it their best shot – and that’s all I can hope for” Pat concluded.