Ross Glavin, Moorefield manager
There was a breeze blowing up in Moorefield Headquarters last week that would cut you in two but that certainly did not deter the young Mini Moores who were going through their weekly routine with the help of the senior players of the club.
Just a dozen days or so to go to senior football final Sunday, yet the players had the time and the interest to mix, mingle and manage kids as young as four (boys and girls) up to 10 or so.
There keeping an eye on proceedings and looking very relaxed wearing his Moorefield 2017 Leinster Club Football Champions top, was Moores boss Ross Glavin, as he prepated for another training session with his players once the Minis session had ended.
Is there any extra pressure on you and the players due to the three-in-a-row scenario we enquired.
“To be honest, I think the three-in-a-row is probably something for the older generation in Moorefield, I think as a group of players and the management team it is never something we have spoken about or talked about from Day 1 as we regrouped on November 16.
“We referenced that Moorefield is too big a club to be just happy winning county titles and we have always set the bar higher and wanting to succeed at provincial and national level and luckily we can reference that now because we have achieved something outside Kildare in recent times; it is not just fairytale's and dreams we have backed it up but obviously for us to get where we want to go we have to win three-in-a-row.
“Part of what we are doing is attempting to win three-in-a-row for the wider Moorefield community and those who have gone before this group of players; then we can really focus on what this group's ambitions really are.”
In his last season at the helm of Moorefield as he embarks on to the county scene with Jack O'Connor, the Air Corps man added that “it doesn't make any difference to us at all; it is a county final that has to be won” quickly adding, “but don't get me wrong, it will be great craic for everyone else associated with Moorefield, and Sarsfields and indeed the town in general; it does add to the hype and the atmosphere on the day but we owe them (Sarsfields) one, they beat us eight weeks ago, they are the only team that has beaten us in the championship in the last three years so we have a bit of a point to prove; we want to hold on to our title.”
Was the approach that Moorefield took any different this time around than previous years?
“Not really to be honest. We were never going to flog the players throughout the year; there were times at certain periods when we were training harder and then de-load a little bit maybe in the summer but to be honest we didn't apply a scientific-based approach, it was more of a common sense based approach; they are club footballers; there is a great culture of football in Moorefield; they are a very hard working bunch of players with a great attitude.
“The players do an awful lot of work outside of the collective sessions and our focus has always been to use our collective sessions as efficiently as possible to enable us to become better footballers and a better football team so this year we didn't do anything much different than any of the previous years.
“The last three summers our form dipped in the league; we lost a couple of games; there was no coincidence that our form dipped because, to be honest, we slipped down a gear or two; we weren't training as collectively as often as we were at different times of the year; we give the players plenty of notice and they plan the year around being senior footballers; most of them get their holidays in early.”
The manager added that while Moorefield lost to Sarsfields in early August we just started our 'Phase 5' training a week earlier on August 3; we are over nine weeks into 'Phase 5' now so we are a completely different animal and a different proposition as far as I am concerned.”
Moorefield probably played their best football of the entire season for some 40 minutes of their semi final against, something that manager Glavin agreed with.
“Listen, these lads are a smart bunch of players they are trying to get their bodies and heads right for this time of year; we have a lot of things we have worked on over the last eight or nine weeks, particularly from that defeat by Sarsfields in early August; so we are a lot further down the road than we were back then; we are in a lot better place, both mentally and tactically, physically, emotionally we are where we need to be now.”
Throughout the season Moorefield have made many changes to their line-ups, some forced through injury; others giving lads their opportunity to show what they are capable of but how difficult, or is it difficult, to keep a panel of 30 players, all anxious to play, happy and content?
The reply was quick, decisive and to the point.
“It is all part of management; when the players get a bit grumpy with me because they are not getting enough game time, I remind them that ultimately it is not my job to keep you guys happy; ultimately it is you (the players) job to make sure that I'm happy.
“Now that's easier said than done but listen, winning trumps everything, when you are winning it brings momentum; creates moral; Moorefield isn't any ordinary club; we have achieved a lot; our culture is generated off our recent history and our recent success since 2000.
“The likes of Sos Dowling, Ronan Sweeney, to name just two, have been ever-present; these lads have been pivotal in creating a culture in Moorefield; hugely player-driven as I say players do an awful lot of work outside of our collective training sessions but the whole club rows in behind senior teams and that is why we are in county finals four years in a row.”
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