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'It was such a big day for my club, it would have been a shame to miss out'

Martin Farragher heads into this All-Ireland club final without the threat of suspension hanging over him.

Martin Farragher at the AIB All-Ireland club finals media day.
Martin Farragher at the AIB All-Ireland club finals media day.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

MARTIN FARRAGHER KNOWS exactly what Johnny Buckley had to endure in the process to have his suspension for the All-Ireland club final overturned.

Buckley is one of the mainstays of the Dr Crokes side that will seek to dethrone Farragher’s Corofin in Sunday’s St Patrick’s Day decider.

The former Kerry player was sent-off in the first-half of their semi-final win over Mullinalaghta, but a subsequent appeal to the CHC saw Buckley cleared to play in the final.

A year ago, Farragher found himself in a similar position after his harsh dismissal in Corofin’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat of Moorefield in Tullamore.

“I can see from Johnny Buckley’s perspective, it’s great to see he’s involved as well,” Farragher said at the AIB All-Ireland club finals media day.

“Such a big name player, it’ll be great from a neutral perspective.”

But he admitted the build-up to the game was difficult as he was unsure if he’d be able to join his team-mates on the field.

“It definitely clears the mind a bit,” he said “Not knowing if you’re going to be playing and having that in the background (is tough).

“Thankfully the GAA overturned that in the end. I was allowed to play on Paddy’s Day. It was such a big day for my club, it would have been a shame to miss out.”

Farragher’s ban was overturned and he cut loose in the final, scoring six points as Corofin breezed past Nemo Rangers to take home the Andy Merrigan Cup for the second time in their history.

“It just made me more eager to play. When I got the chance, I was going to take it.

Martin Farragher Corofin forward Farragher. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“I tried my best. Everyone put in a good performance that day. The inside forwards rely a lot on the lads outside on the other side of the pitch. Everything seemed to click that day.” 

They’re back in the final 12 months later and Farragher believes it’s the culture the club have fostered that’s allowed them to enjoy such sustained success.

“I suppose it comes from our underage structure that we have,” he explained.

“From day one of my career anyway and I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of lads on the team, the likes of Frank Morris and Tom Greaney would have developed the underage.

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“That’s probably the main reason we’re winning and bringing in so many new lads that are up to the standard.

“The GAA is a huge part of the community in Corofin. I suppose from the age of eight or nine you’re going around with a football in your hand and that’s just the way that things are done in Corofin.

“When things work well and things are clicking, there’s nothing better than playing for Corofin,” he added.

“You have the players around you like Ian Burke, Gary Sice, these lads can create some moments of magic at times.

“The likes of Gary Sice and Kieran Fitzgerald have been incredible club men for years now, they’d be lads that I would have looked up to when I was younger.

“They’ve been inspirational to me.”

Tony Brosnan celebrates winning a free Dr Crokes dangerman Tony Brosnan. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Incidentally, Farragher played alongside Dr Crokes forward Tony Brosnan for a summer in the US, so he’s well aware of the threat he’ll pose.

“In 2015 I went to Boston. I actually played with Tony Brosnan from Crokes out there. He’s a serious player. 

“It just shows the top quality of Crokes, when he’s a sub on the team and now the Gooch is a sub as well. It just shows how incredible they are.

“He’s very good,” he said of Brosnan. “He was very good with me, it was me and him inside in the full-forward line out in Boston and was a very good player.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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