Eunan Treacy battles against Drumkeerin in the semi-final. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Leitrim Gaels’ rise through the ranks of Leitrim GAA has been driven by the club’s underage success according to captain Eunan Treacy, pointing out that at 28-years-of-age, he is just the third oldest on the team.
Reflecting on the future of the club, the Gaels captain agrees that the club’s underage success has been a driving force - “Underage success, there does seem to be they’re winning something every year or involved in finals, it is not one off and there are good numbers.
“It is not 9, 11-a-side any more, it is 13, 15-a-side which is a sign that the numbers are there and if you are competitive at that level, it can only be good for the future as long as lads stick at it.”
And Eunan paid tribute to the coaches bringing through quality players each and every year - “There are a lot of committed lads, good coaches who put a lot of time and effort to the lads coming through, they are coming through in fours and fives and for a club of our size, that’s huge.
“I speak to other lads from clubs and you ask if anyone is coming through, maybe one or two. It is good to see that there is interest.”
Yet for all their youth, the core of this team remains from the side that won the Junior A title back in 2012 - “It is five years now and looking back on that team, there is a huge amount of that team still involved in this team and we are still a very young team at that. I wouldn’t say progression because you can never guaranteed progression.
“We won the Junior and the aim was to get out of Intermediate. We’re five years now and who is to say what will happen but the club is probably going in the right direction. The age profile of the team from 2012 has got younger.
“I’m the third oldest at 28 and my brother is 30 and Mick McWeeney is 35 and John Casey 43 but the average age is 23, very low so does that mean we are an inexperienced team, I don’t know.”
But he did sound a note of caution for the future - “As long as lads stay around and stick at it, it is good for the club. But you know yourself, next year, three lads might head away and the core of your team is gone. We’re taking everything as it is.”
SEE WWW.LEITRIMOBSERVER.IE FOR MORE STORIES AND INTERVIEWS AHEAD OF NEXT SUNDAY'S LEITRIM SENIOR AND INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS.