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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 22 August, 2018
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'I'd two sons playing, but they're all like my family' - savouring All-Ireland junior success

Knocknagree manager John Fintan Daly Snr watched his side defeat Multyfarnham on Saturday.

Knocknagree's players celebrate at the end with the trophy Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

SHORTLY AFTER KNOCKNAGREE’S historic All-Ireland junior football final victory on Saturday evening, Cork secretary Frank Murphy and chairperson Tracey Kennedy entered the Croke Park dressing room to congratulate the team.

“It’s a great victory for Cork,” Kennedy told the players.

“To come up here and win the first All-Ireland of the year, ye are absolutely fantastic. I want to wish ye the best of luck for the year ahead and have a great night tonight. Congratulations.”

A big cheer followed from the ecstatic players before a chant broke out as Cork’s new chairperson left the changing room.

“Tracey is a legend, Tracey is a legend, na na na na. Tracey is a legend, Tracey is a legend…”

Days like these don’t come around too often for a club like Knocknagree, which is nestled just inside Cork’s border with Kerry.

“We’re a very small club, 600 people in our parish, right on the county bounds,” said overjoyed manager John Fintan Daly Snr after the 3-13 to 3-9 success.

Knocknagree's players celebrate with the trophy Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

“What a wonderful (competition), it’s the greatest thing the GAA has ever done for its clubs. I was here six years ago with a lovely club Milltown-Castlemaine, we won the intermediate All-Ireland. I’m here now with my home club Knocknagree which is on the border of Kerry and the parish of Rathmore which is almost in the county of Kerry.

“We live and die for our team and our club. It’s game number 45, we’ve only been beaten four times and it’s a wonderful achievement because Cork haven’t been doing it in football.

“I’m a football analyst myself with local radio in Cork, so I’ve seen Cork come here so often and lose, so it’s a wonderful feeling.

“We’ve 32 on the panel, 28 played championship. Two of our best players went into today with pain killing injections, Eoghan McSweeney and Danny Cooper, weren’t at their best but they gave their all for the club and the team.”

Karl Daly and John F. Daly with the trophy The manager's sons Karl Daly and John F. Daly with the trophy Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

It was a special occasion for Daly, who had sons Karl and John F. on his team.

“I’d two sons playing, I’d one playing at wing-back and at inside forward. But they’re all like my family.

“This whole group are my family and it’s not just my own boys because within 500 metres of our house, 13 of the panel live. We’ve four families all playing together. Most of them are related so it’s fantastic.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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