The Electric Ireland Minor Football Final will take place on the 2nd September between Galway and Cork after Galway ended Kerry’s 5-year reign as All-Ireland Minor Champions.
Ahead of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Final, we caught up with Monaghan Minor and 2019 Ulster Champion Michael Hamill to get his thoughts on the Minor Championship after his side were beaten by Cork in the Quarter Finals.
How did winning the Electric Ireland Ulster Football Championship back in July feel?
I suppose, amazing is the word that comes to mind but truthfully words can’t describe how good it felt. A beautiful summer day in Armagh in front of a huge crowd is exactly what Minor football is all about and is something I will never forget.
What do you think is so special about playing Minor football?
I think it’s the opportunity it gives players that are so young to showcase their skills at a higher level. Most of the lads playing haven’t played in anything watched by more than a 100 people in a club u16 match and all of a sudden, you’re playing in front of 8,000 people – it’s a crazy turnaround. That as well as the experience to develop as a player and make the transition to senior in a few years is unmatched.From what you’ve seen of the teams remaining in the championship, who do you think are most likely to claim the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Title?
I think Cork will go on to win the entire thing. It might seem biased because they beat us but I’ve looked at a lot of the other teams in the competition and I don’t think they possess the same power Cork came at us with. They were extremely unlucky to lose the Munster Final by a point and they’ll be geared up now with the appetite I think, to go all the way.Are there any players that have stood out for you in the championship so far – either in Ulster or from the other provinces?
A few certainly look like long term prospects for their counties. I’ve been particularly impressed with Connor Corbett of Cork. After he performed so brilliantly against us in the Quarter Finals, I thought it would be difficult for him to maintain that form going into the semis. Yet I think he scored 2-3 against Mayo at the weekend which is incredible given the quality on the field. Although out now, Paul Walsh from Mayo has been outstanding in every game I’ve watched and he’s definitely one for the future while closer to home, our own Karl Gallagher has been class from start to finish this year.What are your lasting memories of the season and your time playing Minor football?
My strongest memory from being with the team this year has to be scoring the goal in the Ulster Final to go ahead and eventually win the game. It’s the sort of stuff you grow up dreaming about doing on a competitive stage. Apart from that it’ll be the smaller things. The craic at training and the experience of operating at such an elite level.What lessons can be learned following the result against Cork – how were the team after the match?
Well, as you can imagine the heads were down in the dressing room afterwards. It was a total switch from how it was after the Ulster Final and felt horrible. It’s probably too early to learn straight after the game and we have time now with the season over to properly reflect. Defeat doesn’t define a team or group of players so I’m happy that if we adjust, we’ll go further as a team in years to come.For Michael, Monaghan and Ulster the Electric Ireland Minor Football Championships, the major connections they’ve made along the way are over for 2019. However, a tantalising game between two fantastic sides still lies in wait for those tuning in to the All-Ireland Finals as Galway play Cork on the 2nd of September.