There were celebrations to be had last week as SETU Carlow lifted the Rory O Connor Division 2 Freshers Football League title.
A blistering start to the second half allowed the local university to defeat TUS Midlands 1-14 to 1-10. However, there was a small cause of concern in the closing quarter of the game as TUS started to mount a comeback of sorts. Speaking to former Eire Og manager Christy Bolger, who was in charge of the SETU side, he stated he was always aware of a possible period of dominance coming from his opponents;
“We went in at half time 0-09 0-05 up, so the message was, keep doing what we are doing. Keep it very simple, limit play on the ball, and keep the scoreboard ticking over. We knew they were an excellent side and they were going to have a purple patch in the game, so we needed enough in the bank, and we did thank god.”
The future looks bright now with SETU Carlow desperate to make their mark on the Sigerson Cup after making it to the final in the 1019/2020 season. Unfortunately that day they fell to five-time winners DCU on the day. However, this victory has given Christy great hope for the future.
“It is getting a foothold, getting the foundations, and making a clear pathway towards the Sigerson. That it is not ad-hoc and you are just hoping to see what comes through the door. There is a huge amount of time and effort that goes into it from players and management, we are very well supported by Donal McNally and Alan Nolan in SETU. So it is a work in progress but it is nice to get a reward for the time and effort that goes into it.”
Christy who was recently ratified as the manager of Kildare intermediate side Kilcullen, would have gotten to see a glimpse of his new clubmate Cormac Barker along with a host of possible opponents with many Kildare names involved in the panel. Overall there were eight different counties represented on the squad, with seven from Carlow (Rathvilly, Eire Og & St. Patricks). Knowing clashes between intercounty and club rivals, Bolger admitted how crucial it is to create a fun environment for the team to play;
“As a management team, you have to be on your game. There are 11 lads from Kildare that won an All-Ireland U20 final last year. So if you are not up to your game, they will find out very quickly. So you are trying to create an environment where everyone belongs, heads fun, and keep it nice and relaxed. Even at training, you are not trying to break anyone, just get them up to the field, get an hour of work done, and try to implement some sort of system that suits the players we have.”
Listen back to the full interview on Scoreline Extra below: