Drumgath will look to build on promotion says manager Jack Lynch

By Kieran Lynch

DRUMGATH confirmed their promotion from Division Three last Friday night, with a home draw against Newry Shamrocks.

Having been stuck in the third-tier for a number of years, Drumgath’s manager Jack Lynch explained that the club prioritised league success this year, and why it was particularly important to go up in 2022.

“The league was definitely our top priority this year,” he affirmed.

“In my first year as manager, we just missed out on promotion. We only dropped five points in the whole season, but because only one team went up, it wasn’t enough. Then with Covid, there was no promotion in the last two years.

“Plus this year, you have four teams going down from Division Two into Division Three, so if we didn’t get up this year, then it was going to be a lot tougher to go up next year. So, it was definitely a priority of ours.”

With 12 wins and only one loss from their 14 league matches, the Rathfriland club have certainly been in top form, and Lynch feels that it’s a result of good competition for places, as well as the games coming thick and fast, that has lead to their excellent campaign.

“It’s a case of telling the lads to keep doing what they’re doing; but you need to keep them on their toes,” Lynch explained, regarding their success.

“You need to keep training varied, and keep the team varied. We haven’t really had a settled team all year and that sort of keeps players on their toes, and I think that the players push each other on – if somebody does dip out of form, they know they haven’t got much time to get back into it.

“I suppose it’s just all about building towards Friday night. Everything we do during training on Monday and Wednesday night is just about building towards Friday, and when you’re playing every week, it’s easy to build that momentum.”

For the long-term success of the club, Lynch hopes that the step up in quality will be beneficial to the next crop of young talent, as they look bring through their u-17 team, which includes hot prospect Eoghan Travers.

“It’s important to get there. But it’ll be more important to stay there,” Lynch said.

“That’s the challenge next year. We’re a small club, but we have good u-17 and u-15 teams coming behind us. So, I think it’s important for us to allow those players to develop, whilst playing a higher level.”

In the shorter term, such a good run of form can only lead to confidence building, and with the championship starting at the end of August, Lynch feels that his team are right in the mix to win Intermediate.

“We got to the final two years ago, and the semi-final last year. So, can we bridge that gap this year? It’s easier said than done, but you just have to worry about the next match and take it as it comes.

“But I think that if we play close to the top of our game then we definitely have a chance, but you need everything to fall your way.”

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