When Carrickedmond last won the Intermediate Championship they were managed by Eugene McCormack. Four years on and McCormack is back with his club and hoping to guide them to success yet again when they take on Sean Connollyâ€™s in Sundayâ€™s final.
McCormack is passionate about his club and loves being back at the helm: â€œThere is nothing like coaching your own club; there is a great satisfaction in it too. I did miss the county job but once I got back in to it and the players bought into what I wanted to do it went from there. There is nothing like competing and performing,â€ he told the Leader.
Although he loves the club McCormack admitted he didnâ€™t accept the managerâ€™s job straight away: â€œFunny enough I didnâ€™t take it straight away. I had been with them three years ago and didnâ€™t know if I wanted to go back that soon. It was only when Barry Oâ€™Farrell asked me to come back that I decided to take it. Itâ€™s hard to say â€˜noâ€™ to him,â€ joked McCormack.
Despite losing last yearâ€™s final Carrickedmondâ€™s aim this year was not about going one better and winning the Intermediate Championship but it was getting back to Division 1 and then they could take it from there: â€œWe targeted the league more; we wanted to try to get back into the Division 1 after we were relegated last year. We put everything into the league and then after that concentrated on the championship. We said weâ€™d give it a right go,â€ McCormack said.
From the start of the championship Carrickedmond have been favourites to claim the Gerry Hennessy Cup. Itâ€™s a tag that McCormack and his players are trying to keep away from. He said: â€œWe havenâ€™t really talked about it. We addressed every game as it came; itâ€™s an old clichÃ© but true. We looked at games and tried to see where we could improve from last time out. Every team brings its own different scenarios.â€
Standing in Carrickedmondâ€™s way of claiming the Intermediate title are Sean Connollyâ€™s. McCormack believes that his side will have to be at their best to defeat the Ballinalee side who against all odds are in the final:
â€œItâ€™s a credit to them all that theyâ€™re in the final. We know weâ€™ll have our work cut-out, we are under no illusions. With them not being in the final for a good while theyâ€™ll be very hungry. They are a very good side. They have great comradery and are a tight unit. Under Dolly (Dalton) they have worked really hard. Heâ€™s a Connollyâ€™s man and understands the players.â€
From being involved with football for so long McCormack knows only too well that itâ€™s all about on the day: â€œNo matter what game it is it is all about on the day; a bounce of a ball going your way or against you. Itâ€™s the small little things. You have to make sure you get everything right.â€