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'Watch our U8s or 10s, they would be at the same craic as our seniors. Playing good football'

Kilcoo’s Conor Laverty is hoping his club’s identity will help them topple ‘the best club team there’s ever been’.

Laverty pictured at Kilcoo's press conference this evening.
Laverty pictured at Kilcoo's press conference this evening.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

AS WELL AS being a father of four boys, the coach of the Monaghan senior county team, the GAA Development Officer for Trinity College, his farm of “too many” sheep, his senior football commitments with Kilcoo, Conor Laverty is also coaching officer for the club.

In such a role, he emphasises the importance of appointing coaches to each underage group who will comply to the house style of Eoghan Rua Cill Chua.

“If you were to watch our U8s or 10s, they would be at the same craic as our seniors. Playing good football,” he stated at the Kilcoo press night ahead of their All-Ireland final against Galway’s Corofin, who are aiming for three in a row, on Sunday week.

“We were at an U8 blitz this year and I think we scored 11 goals. And 10 of them were palmed goals.

It’s just our style of play and we have had that for the past number of years. We have a template and a structure in place of how we want to go about things from U6s right through to senior level.

“It’s important. And right from the start of every year whenever we’re sorting coaches out, I am the coaching officer in the club, whenever we are talking about coaches we are trying to get people with the right mentality.

“That sort of Kilcoo thing, how we play our football and what we expect of them.”

Throughout their run, Corofin have drawn praise for their style of football. Such warm tributes can inflate a team’s reputation but Laverty, joint captain of Kilcoo, does not shy away from his admiration of the Connacht side.

“They are probably one of the best, if not the best club team there’s ever been,” he states.

“But, we are just happy with where we are. We are delighted with how we are going and delighted to be there.

“Corofin are going for three-in-a-row and that’s something in its’ own. They are massive favourites going into the game and they play a great brand of football.

conor-laverty-celebrates-with-son-setanta Laverty celebrates last year's Ulster final win over Naomh Conall with his son. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

“We know the task we are up against, it’s going to be an extremely difficult match. But hopefully we can go there and produce a performance and do ourselves proud and do our village proud. That’s what we will be looking for.”

It has been said that Croke Park suits Corofin’s style of free-flowing football. But a significant proportion of this Kilcoo team have also played at the same venue, most notably during James McCartan’s time in charge of Down when they reached the All-Ireland final of 2010, as well as a number of league semi-finals and finals.

“I think the best way to look at it is, no matter what, it’s 15 men against 15 men. And there’s a set of goalposts at either side of the pitch and whichever team performs the best at the end of the day, is going to win,” explained Laverty.  

“It’s gonna be a very challenging game. They are very well experienced, a well-oiled machine. we are just going there to fully concentrate on ourselves and our own performance.”

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Declan Bogue

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