Boden name O’Brien as new senior boss

by Karl Graham
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BALLYBODEN St Enda’s have named former Dublin footballer John O’Brien as their new manager after a thorough search for Andy McAntee’s replacement, who stepped down to take charge of the Meath county football team.
O’Brien represented Dublin at all levels up to senior, shining in the O’Byrne Cup in 2008 in 2009.
He had a delicious left boot seeing him score heavily for Round Tower, Clondalkin, too, with a metronomic ability to land frees.
He soon took up coaching and, despite being just 30 now, he has enjoyed roles at DIT and Meath club Curraha.
He led the latter to Meath and Leinster junior football titles last year but taking over the All-Ireland club champions who have just won the Dublin AFL1 title represents a big step up. A step up that O’Brien is more than prepared for.
“It is fantastic to get such a big job especially with how the last couple of years have gone for the lads, winning an All-Ireland and league,” he told GazetteSport.
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the club over the last two years so to be able to come in and try to improve that is a great challenge and something I am definitely looking forward to.”
O’Brien is also fully aware of the expectations that come with one of Dublin’s biggest clubs.
“Regardless of whether they had won something or not, I think the expectations within Ballyboden St Enda’s are always going to be big and I think you just have to take that on board and not worry about it too much because I’ll have enough to worry about in terms of selection and players.”
In appointing a young man to such an important role, the club are also demonstrating a great show of confidence in O’Brien’s ability especially considering the job would not have been short of takers.
“I’m 30 years of age and to get a job of this calibre [so young] is fantastic.
“It’s a vote of confidence in terms of my ability where the lads can see something in what I have done previously in such a short space of time.”
O’Brien is not short of confidence in his own ability, justifiably considering what he has achieved already in his short managerial career, and he hopes that he can build on what is already a very talented bunch of lads.
“I would hope I would be able to improve the lads in terms of their ability. At this level it is about the small percentages that you can adjust to make the difference.
“These lads are All-Ireland champions and league champions, so what you are trying to do is make small adjustments to what’s there and get huge benefits out of it,” O’Brien concluded.

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