McGowan’s mission

John McGowan is one of the most experienced GAA coaches in Co.  Roscommon and this year he has taken St. Dominics back to the intermediate final  after they were beaten (following a replay) in last year’s final.   The Tarmonbarry man will be hoping to take Dominics into senior ranks by beating Michael Glaveys in Sunday’s final in Athleague. He is relishing the challenge, after what has been a tough season.   Speaking to the Roscommon People, John McGowan said that it has been an ‘up and down’ championship for St. Dominics so far.    ‘We have staggered through to the final rather than anything else. We were good the first day against Eire Og but we were very lucky to get through the game against Fuerty. We were poor that day. Then we played well against St. Ronans in the quarter-final but in the semi-final we had a big struggle against St. Croans – but then again there is never anything in games between Croans and Dominics.’       John is fulsome in his praise of the effort put in by the St. Dominics players. ‘It’s been great. We have 30 to 33 players at training every night and I can say that they have worked very hard to get back into another final. It was not easy coming in at the start of the year because a lot of the players were disappointed after losing last year’s final.    ‘It’s hard to lift players to make the effort to get back into another county final but all credit to them, they rose to the challenge very well’ he went on.   Injuries will play a part in the preparation and team selection for Sunday’s game. ‘We have at least two players that are very doubtful for Sunday, Anthony Naughton and Arthur Beades. We are hoping that they might be able to take some part but we will not decide on that until closer to the final’ he said.    John says that there was a certain  amount of pressure on him as a manager when he took over St. Dominics this year. ‘When a club are beaten in an intermediate final after a replay there is a raised level of expectation in the county  and it brings its own pressures, but thank God here we are in the final again’ he told the Roscommon People.    The Tarmonbarry man reckons that Michael Glaveys deserve to be the favourites to win Sunday’s encounter. ‘Glaveys are a good side. They have really played well this year and they had few problems getting to the final and are fully deserving to have the favourite’s tag’ he says.    However John adds that there is a massive spirit in the Dominics club which he believes can stand to them. ‘This is a great club. I have been most impressed by the great spirit that they have shown and they are doing a huge amount of work at underage level, which bodes well for the future’ he said.   John is hoping that the spirit in the club and maybe even their most famous son might prove an inspiration to St. Dominics in Sunday’s final.    ‘It would be nice to be able to win this title in the same year that the great Jamsie Murray passed away. We have a team good enough to win it, that’s for certain’ he concluded.