GAA Vistamed Junior A FC semi-finals

Future is bright for Aughavas says legend Fintan McBrien

John Connolly

Reporter:

John Connolly

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sport@leitrimobserver.ie

Future is bright for Aughavas says legend Fintan McBrien

Aughavas manager Fintan McBrien surveys the action during last Sunday's semi-final victory Picture: Willie Donnellan

It is 20 years ago this coming weekend that Fintan McBrien led Aughavas to a Senior Championship title but next Sunday, his attention is firmly on leading his club to the Vistamed Junior A crown in Avantcard Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.

Aughavas head into the Final, whenever it takes place, in fine fettle and Fintan sees a bright future ahead of the club, regardless of the outcome of their derby clash with Cloone.

“It’s hard to believe it is 20 years, a lot of things has happened over the years,” recalled Fintan with a smile, “Unfortunately, we are where we are but I have to say that I think the future is bright for us, regardless of whether we win next Sunday or not.

“This is a great bunch of young lads, it is a very young outfit and we have a lot of lads coming through the underage ranks so for a rural club, we’re doing ok. Of course, we’d prefer to be higher up but that’s our aim and that is what we are aiming to do and hopefully we can do that.”

Fintan is hopeful that the final appearance can spur on Aughavas; “It is great to be in a final, we don’t care if it is a week or two weeks and honestly with the news that is in it at the moment, it is probably for the best that it is on next Sunday as we don’t know what is coming down the line.

“It is great for a parish like Aughavas, we’re a rural club, we’re not blessed with numbers and it is great to be back in a final and hopefully we can get across the line.”

Neither did he have a preference on who Aughavas would face: “No preference, we don’t mind - our main job was to get over the line today. To be honest with you, we haven’t even thought about who we might be facing.

“Our job was to get over the line and it doesn’t matter if it is Cloone or Glencar/ Manorhamilton, we have got to focus on our game and try and get our game right.”

Reviewing the final, Fintan said the final scoreline didn’t reflect the battle Glenfarne gave them and highlighted the contribution of Seamus Sweeney: “Absolutely, the scoreline probably does flatter us a bit. It was always going to be tough today with Glenfarne, they weren’t going to come here today just to make up the numbers and we knew that, we knew we were in for a battle.

“Conditions weren’t ideal for a game and it probably didn’t suit us but we will take it. Seamus Sweeney is a great footballer, he delivers day in, day out for us. We moved him out the field onto the forty and he is thriving out there with the space.

“We were relying on Seamus back the years, he was our go-to guy and he was our point of attack but we have other guys out there today capable of getting a score. Scoring 1-14 on a day like today is good scoring.

“This has been a strange year and when the Covid lockdown was lifted, we were all just happy to get back playing football, every lad was eager to get back. We have a panel of 32, 33 lads there and they’re a great committed bunch.”