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2019 season review – Down club players’ vox pop

Darren Cunningham

Saval

What was your biggest frustration playing club football this year?

If teams are still in championship they are not going to put out a strong team out in a league fixture and the other team has an unfair advantage to the other teams around them in the league. I’d like the league to be finished up before the championship starts.

What club story in your county caught your eye this year?

Kilcoo’s great achievement in winning the Ulster title. They got it tight to get out of Down but it was some performance in the Ulster final.

What would you like to see changed in Down next year?

Championship to return to knock-out, no back door, and all league games over before the start of the championship.

What was the best club game you watched in Down this year, excluding your own?

Haven’t been to too many other club games, Kilcoo against Warrenpoint in the county final was good.

Ronan McAlinden

An Riocht

What was your biggest frustration playing club football this year?

Keeping up numbers at training towards the end of the year can be frustrating as many of the players have other commitments that they have put to one side earlier in the season. When league matches run late in to the year it can be difficult to keep players motivated.

What club story in your county caught your eye this year?

Siobhan’s Toughest Opponent campaign was inspirational and epitomises the GAA family and the support available in times of need.

What would you like to see changed in Down next year?

I feel that some improvement could be made around the scheduling of league games that are running right through until October. Rest and recovery for players is important to avoid burn out and loss of motivation.

What was the best club game you watched in Down this year, excluding your own?

The 2019 season was a fantastic one for club football in down with the success of teams like Glenn and obviously the Ulster champions Kilcoo. A stand-out game for me was the quarter-final replay in the championship between Burren and Kilcoo. The quality of the goals from Kilcoo in the closing minutes were fantastic and something for all club players to aspire to replicate in the coming year.

Shane Annett

Mayobridge

What was your biggest frustration playing club football this year?

My biggest frustration playing for my club this year was probably getting knocked out of the championship at the quarter final stage. After beating the previous county champions, Burren, in the first round, I thought we could go all the way but we were deservedly beaten at the quarter-final stage. Also getting beat in the u-21 final by a good Carryduff side, but coming so close to them, getting beaten by three points, probably made it worse.

What club story in your county caught your eye this year?

The club story that caught my eye this year was definitely about Kilcoo’s Caelan McEvoy. For everything that he went through for a year, the travelling, spending time away from his family, multiple surgeries, he made it to the Club Ulster final in Omagh to watch Kilcoo win the Ulster Championship for the first time in their history and the first down team to win it in 31 years. Also watching his brother play an important role in that competition made it more special, he wasn’t letting anything stop him from being there.

What would you like to see changed in Down next year?

To be honest I don’t think I’d like to see many things changed next year in Down, I think that it is well run and players have the opportunity to play plenty of games. Maybe having Mayobridge as county champions again would be the only thing that I’d change.

What was the best club game you watched in Down this year, excluding your own?

The best club game I watched this year was the Burren against Kilcoo in their replay. Burren came out flying and started very strongly and Kilcoo weren’t playing well at all. Burren just looked to be up for it a lot more and Kilcoo, I thought, looked deflated. But then Burren stopped for about the last 10 or 15 minutes and Kilcoo came out victorious in a game I thought Burren should’ve won by five or six points.

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