The steady progress of Longford RFC Senior First XV over the last four years is in no small part thanks to their head coach Colm Glynn. One of the other planks that has assisted this progress is the development of the under-age players.
The biggest improvement over the last half decade is in the players that started at under-age level who have come through. Thanks to the coaching that they have got they are far more skilful than those of previous generations. One of those who have come through the underage ranks is George McDermott.
Longford’s place in the final of the 2012/2013 Towns Cup is in no small part due to the agile winger’s fingertips. However the young man in the 14 shirt said that he did not realise the importance of the win until the referee blew the whistle in the semi-final against Roscrea: “When the game was over it dawned on me how significant this was. I saw some of the older players and there were one or two that had a tear in their eyes, so it sort of pushed home what we had achieved. Up to that it was just a case of, “Well, we are in a Town Cup semi-final,” and I suppose I felt that it was just the normal run of things, something that happens every year.”
Having played with Longford through the underage structure this is not the first time the right wing has been in the final shake up. George said that he does not feel pressurised by the occasion: “We got to two Under 17s finals and I remember there was a big build up to one of them and I remember a sense of anti-climax after it. The build up to the Towns Cup Final has been cool. I don’t think there is a weight of expectation on us and I think we are all enjoying it. I probably don’t feel the build up to it as much as some of the lads who are here all week. I am studying down in Limerick and it’s only at the weekends that I’m back with the squad. I find the time has flown past, so there is not that feeling that it has been a long gap before the final next weekend.”
Looking back on the run to the final McDermott says that one clash stands out: “I think the toughest game was against Roscrea, because it was a semi-final. We should have closed the game out earlier, but I suppose it was nerves or something. At the end it really was fingertips stuff. It was tough and the last ten minutes was a real battle. For most of the other games we were well on top right from the off, but Roscrea really pushed us to the very end.”
With the final few days winding down to the final the winger says that he is chomping at the bit for the starting whistle: “I am starting to get excited now and looking forward to it. I think that the team gets along very well and we are well knitted together. I have only been playing with the lads since September, but we are all fairly close now.”