Shell-shocked Stack hails his young stars

Jerome Stack, manager of St Brigid’s, heartbroken at full time as his team narrowly lost Sunday’s All-Ireland Club SFC final to Glen by one point. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

It was an understandably shell-shocked St Brigid’s manager Jerome Stack who faced the media just minutes after their agonising one-point loss. He was full of praise for his young team who had come so close to being crowned All-Ireland champions.

“I’m going to be straight, I’m not going to go analysing why or why not, it’s just too raw now and I wouldn’t be giving you proper answers, because I’d have to look at it back again.

“All I do know is that at half-time, after losing the lead and conceding the goal, we were set a really difficult task for the second half. But that bunch of players, the whole panel – and not everybody gets a run on the day – the spirit and unity within that panel, they have no fear of playing anybody or (of) the situation. I’m so proud of them. I think that they’re a marvellous bunch of players so I’m not going to get into the different parts of the game, but we were facing a really tough task in the second half, really difficult conditions, everything coming against us, and they nearly went and did it”.

The Listowel native also paid tribute to Glen who came back from the dead in the closing minutes to win the title.

“Glen are a marvellous team, they’ve come to two All-Irelands in a row, they were a kick of a ball away from it last year, they came back this year and that’s a fantastic achievement in itself.  They’re obviously a fantastic bunch, and they have huge desire and hunger and I respect that.

“Our dressing room is hugely disappointed, and I’m terribly disappointed for the players, but I have respect for what they’ve done as well”.

The St Brigid’s manager said that the character of his young team showed through all the way into the dying seconds.

“We went two down in the last couple of minutes and we brought it back to within one. There’s character there. I know they’re very good footballers, that was never in doubt, but I think they’ve showed tremendous character. They’re young and they’re not beaten because they’ll keep coming back.

“But it was very difficult for us, and obviously with the breeze making it harder for us to get traction on our own kick-outs in the last couple of minutes… and Conor Glass, being the player he is, driving through… they were getting momentum there. But we didn’t die, we turned them over and we went at it again.

“We came to have more than a go, we believed that we were going to win that match, and that’s the way we went about our business. I couldn’t be more proud of those players, they have done that all year” Jerome concluded.