‘We have been in tight games, but there’s learnings in that as well’

Reflective and calm St Brigid’s manager Jerome Stack relishing ‘two-horse race’….

Jerome Stack, the Kerry-born manager of St Brigid’s, knows that his side have a big task ahead of them when they face Corofin in the provincial decider on Sunday. He agrees that his charges have not been perfect in the Connacht Championship this year, but the bottom line of course is that they are on a winning streak and in the final on merit.

“We would have been very happy with a lot of what we did in the Coolera-Strandhill match from an accuracy point of view. We had a breeze in the first half and we used it very well. That’s not as easy as people think. A lot of people make judgements from outside the wire of how hard it is to play with or against the breeze. A lot of people making those judgements have never played with or against a breeze, or never had to make that decision.

“We could have done better in the second half of that game, in terms of the way we managed it. But the bottom line with a lot of these games is that there will be moments when the opposition gain control, either through a bit of momentum, a bit of luck, or simply by playing well.

“Against Mohill, the weather conditions were more difficult, for both teams. To be fair to Mohill, they went about their business in a way that made it difficult for us. But it’s not the first time that’s happened this year.

“We have been in tight games, but there’s learnings in that as well. You get used to being in situations where it’s not a foregone conclusion. There’s a certain mental skill in that in terms of becoming acclimatised to that sort of environment. You can talk about it as much as you want, but unless you go through that, you can’t really learn how to deal with it.

“I wouldn’t be happy with everything we’ve done this year but the bottom line is that once you come out of the game and you’re through to the next round, I’ll accept it,” he said.

Stack says that St Brigid’s’ preparations will not change despite the fact that it is the mighty Corofin that they face on Sunday.

“Every game we’ve played this year – from the very first game – there are obviously certain things that we want to do, and that we’ve tried to do. Every game we’ve played, whatever the opposition, we’ve talked about who we’re playing and take into account how we approach things relative to the opposition.

“That won’t change for Corofin. They’re just another opposition, obviously a very good opposition. But it’s the same process. You’re digging around seeing can you find something here or there or can you exploit something, or if you can protect something. Every team have got the same preparation and respect from us. It’s not as if Corofin are going to get any more than anybody else, they’ll get the same”.

Finally, despite the fact that this is a young St Brigid’s side, the manager is not looking to the future; he wants to win this final on Sunday.

“It’s a two-horse race. We’ve earned our right to be in this final and so have Corofin. As far as I’m concerned, we are going out there to win this final. If you’re talking about potentially being in a final in two of three years’ time, I’m not having that. We’re in the final this Sunday and we’ll be doing our very, very best to win that final,” he concluded.