British GAA final carries strong Co Longford links

Media coverage of gaelic football in the UK rarely stimulates public interest.

Media coverage of gaelic football in the UK rarely stimulates public interest.

This Sunday, all that looks set to change as four Co Longford men go in search of the British Junior Championship in Pairc Na hEireann, Birmingham.

The eagerly awaited encounter will also pitch two former Slashers clubmen, Dominick Glennon and Des Gilleran on opposite sides.

“It’s not very often you get so many Longford players over here playing on the same pitch at the same time,” said Des, who manages Cardiff outfit, St Colmcille’s.

Two other ex-pats, David Quinn of Clonguish and Granard man Martin Flood, both ply their trade for Des’ Gloucestershire Championship title holders.

They face Manchester side, St Peter’s and the son of sitting Co Cllr Denis Glennon with the winners assured of a spot in the All-Ireland Junior Football semi-final.

“I played with Dominick myself when I played with Slashers,” said Des, as he insisted his charges are “massive underdogs” going into the weekend decider.

Casting an enthusiastic eye over the encounter, Des played down the strong Longford connection had anything to do with recessional difficulties back home.

“I don’t think it has much to do with that because a few of us that are involved have been over here nine or ten years. Also, much of our panel come from other counties such as Kildare, Kerry and Cork,” he said.

That said, Des was keen to deflect any rivalry when asked if he had any message for his former Slashers team-mate.

“All I will say is may the best team win,” he laughed quietly to himself. “And whatever the result, I’m sure we will have a pint together afterwards.”

Just who will be leading those celebrations? All will be revealed come 3:30pm on Sunday in the unlikely GAA backdrop of England’s West Midlands.