Moorefield manager Ross Glavin
Moorefield was buzzing when we called up last week as the club held a Meet & Greet with in excess of 200 youngsters mixing, mingling and playing with members of the senior squad.
Moving to a quiet spot we met The Moore's manager, Ross Glavin, as he prepared to take yet another training sessions with his squad.
It has been a long season did you adopt a different approach this time around?
“After the disappointment of the All Ireland semi final defeat we tweaked things slightly; we didn't stop completely but our form did suffer somewhat in the League.”
Still made it to the League final.
“Yes, we did but in fairness we were somewhat fortunate to fall into that semi final spot with results going our way on the last round of games but during the summer our form dipped somewhat but we put in a good performance in the League semi final but the final was one of the most annoying games in the last two years, for numerous reasons.”
In what way annoying?
“While a lot of it was self inflicted it was around a week after Kildare had finished their season and there was a lot of good will out there for the Kildare players but I thought that good will may have seeped down to their county players and I thought their (Athy) county players got away with an awful lot in that final in comparison to the Moore-
That's a big statement I suggested.
“It is but I have looked at that video a few times; Daryl Flynn picked up a yellow card early on when diving to block a ball; small things but big things in the overall run of things.”
The Moorefield boss added “there was a stage in the second half when, I think we were a point down, Kevin Feely took a shot at goal, to most people it was wide; the linesman intervened and told the referee the shot was wide but the referee overruled the linesman and suddenly Athy were two up.
“Look we missed an awful lot of scoring opportunities ourselves, our scoring proficiency was poor but it was one of those annoying games and we don't want to be putting ourselves in a situations where decisions from officials can go against us; we pick up soft yellow cards added the Moorefield boss, now in his second season in charge.
The army man added that “in fairness Athy are a very good outfit; a very smart team; probably the most street-wise team around; they play a cynical enough brand of football; very northern style of football; they commit an awful lot of fouls, slow the game down, get an awful lot of bodies behind the ball; certainly got away with a lot of tactical fouls in that league final and when you are doing tactical fouls you are bordering on cynical fouls and that is where the black card comes in.
“The black card is not just to be enforced at the scoring goals half of the pitch, it is a cynical foul no matter where it is in the pitch and Athy are very smart like that; they defend very well.”
Going back to the semi final just last week Glavin said he was speaking to a couple of Celbridge players, they felt that “Athy applied that tactic and did so very successfully and that is something we will have to be very aware of and keep the game freely flowing; we like to keep the tempo high and attack the game as much as possible; while we will be trying to keep it high and keep the game open, Athy will probably be trying to do the opposite.”
Anything you might tweak in your game plan for the final?
“Look we will be looking at the opposition as we do with all opposition, regardless of what stage of the competition we are at, but we will do our due diligence on the opposition, hopefully we will get most things right as a team and as a group of players but we will also get some things wrong but hopefully we will have enough to counteract the opposition; there is enough talent and spirit in our group that if we work hard enough on the day that's what we can control.”
What did winning last season's title and then going on to win Leinster mean to you and to the team?
“It gave us great confidence, no doubt, it gave us a huge belief in the group; you can't beat winning, I think as a club we are in a great place; as a group we are in a great place; great atmosphere not just in the club but in the community.
“There is a lot of positivity towards the club and the players and that comes from not just the way players conduct themselves on the pitch but also off it; doing things like visiting Naas Hospital last year; visiting the schools in the area and the kids; dedicated time to the Mini Moores it is all a help; all positive.”
You have a big panel of players is it difficult to keep everyone happy?
“It's impossible to keep everyone happy but everyone works tremendously hard but when the team is successful all players reap the rewards not just the XV that start or the five or six more that get game time; remember it's not just the top three or four scorers that are winning trophies, it is the entire panel, and I mean the entire panel; they all put in the same time and effort.
“Training here is very competitive; a very difficult team to pick; the players make my life difficult in the way they train, so competitive; it can be very hard at times to pick the team but the big thing is that they don't make it awkward for me and the selectors once the team is picked; they accept what we decide; very selfless; put the team first; accept what role they are asked to fulfil and maybe the next day they might be asked to fulfil a different role but they accept that, that is personified by the likes of Roli Sweeney.
“If you were here watching him train and the way he trains and performs in training, you would say he would have to start every single day but he makes our lives so simple because if he is not picked to start he accepts that role and moves on; he puts the team first and the players follow his leadership.”
Whoever wins on Sunday, will be out the following weekend in the Leinster Club Championship, any thoughts on that?
A quick and decisive reply: from the Moorefield boss: “I have not looked beyond Sunday, yet.”