Match Review - FINAL Junior Champ 07 "Centre of attention"- Mayonews 23/10/07

Centre of attention

Colm Cafferkey led by example as always

Edwin McGreal

IT’S fully half an hour after John Boyle’s final whistle and the last three remaining Achill players make their way towards the tunnel. Brothers Donal and Colm Gallagher, and Colm Cafferkey, are positively beaming and it’s hard to see the smiles disappearing any time soon.

For Cafferkey, who has consistently been one of Achill’s best players, Sunday’s victory was one that he must have thought at times would never come their way. Their location on the periphery of Ireland has had major implications for the islanders in terms of players living away. But this year Achill approached the season with a renewed vigour.

“We always knew we were capable of it,” the centre-half back told The Mayo News, “but for a club like Achill, with so few fellas living at home, to be able to get the momentum together and get to a county final and finish the job is a huge achievement.

“We’re hoping to build on it like Achill teams maybe haven’t in the past,” he added. “We knew from underage teams that we always had the talent. It was just a matter of organising it and getting it right on the day.”

Get it right they certainly did as Achill bossed the county final from pillar to post. This was their chance and they took it. “We’ve a lot of big characters in that team, a lot of leaders all over the place, and when the game is in the melting pot those fellas come to the fore,“ explained Cafferkey. “We really showed that today. We were up for this game and there was going to be nothing to stop us.”

However, the Achill dynamo did acknowledge that the build-up to the game was hard on Islandeady. The tragic death of Brian Collins (a first cousin of manager Tony and midfielders Peter and Johan) last week was something that Cafferkey admits must have been tough on the vanquished side.

“I don’t want to take away from our win but I know they’ve a funeral to go to tonight. I just think that maybe Islandeady didn’t leave their best out on that pitch today and I think that they’re a better team than they showed.”

This is Cafferkey’s ninth season playing junior with Achill. It was immediately obvious that Sunday’s win, and its corresponding ascendance to the Intermediate grade, is something the man who runs the well-known Ted Lavelle’s Pub in Cashel, is extremely grateful for.

“Out of those nine years, for eight of them we haven’t even come close to a county final so to finally get some recognition, to get so many people out to support us and realise the kind of talent we have and the effort we’re putting in, is brilliant.”

And now there is the enticing prospect of Intermediate football next year. As far as Cafferkey is concerned, Sunday’s success can be the start of something.

“We’re Intermediate next year and hopefully we can build on it the way that teams like Kiltane, who might have the same problems with fellas living away, have built on it and kept their senior status,” offered Cafferkey. “We’ll hope to keep our Intermediate status next year and hopefully push to senior in the next few years. Now that we have the momentum we can keep it going.” 

Article taken from, and copyright of the "Mayo News" 23rd October 2007.