Pat hopes to make sweet music with Pearses again – from a distance

Pearses manager banned from sideline on Sunday

Pat Flanagan is one of the most experienced managers around, having been in charge of the county teams of Westmeath, Sligo and Offaly, as well as a number of club sides.

This Sunday, Pat will be watching the county final from ‘outside the wire’ after his clash with officials during the semi-final win against St. Brigid’s.

Conor Daly was sent off in that match and he is eligible to play on Sunday, having successfully appealed the red card.

Pat Flanagan told People Sport that he will have to accept the position he finds himself in on Sunday.

Confirming that he didn’t see grounds on which to launch an appeal, the Offaly man said it will be difficult for him to manage the team away from the sideline.

“I am 27 years managing football teams and this will be the first game that I will not be on the sideline for in that time. I will have to find a way to manage it on the day. But what can I do? I just have to accept my fate”.

Pat agrees that his charges were not playing well earlier in the championship. “We were in a very tough group and things were not clicking for us the way that we wanted. We introduced a few younger players into the group but as things progressed we got better. Hopefully that improvement will continue on Sunday”.

The Pearses manager says that to be part of the management for a classic game like the semi-final win against Brigid’s was very enjoyable.

“It was very pleasing to be involved in a game like that. In my time in team management it was one of the best games that I was a part of. It was a great game of football. The spirit and character that our lads showed was immense. Our lads play better when their backs are to the wall.

“We started well but Brigid’s came back with two brilliant goals. We came back twice after that. To have outscored them five points to one in the last quarter was so pleasing”.

Pat feels that this is a special Pearses team. “I have said it since I came here, but if this team was in any other county where I have been before – like Offaly or Westmeath – they would walk the championship. The one thing they had to get over here was the fact that they hadn’t won a championship. I am a firm believer in tradition and history in football and Clann have that history and tradition. They know how to win championships. We are still figuring out how to do it”.

Consistency is the name of the game as far as Pat Flanagan is concerned. “We were disappointed how we played last year in the final against St. Brigid’s. It’s all about progressing, and we didn’t do that in 2020. We have to get to a level where we are performing at our best and we will need that if we are to beat Clann on Sunday.

“These matches take on a life of their own. It’s neighbour against neighbour. They will be expecting to win it. It will be very, very tight, but I think that our semi-final battle (against St. Brigid’s) will stand to us on Sunday.

“I don’t think that there will be a runaway winner. The team that shows the greater character will win it in the end”.