Danny Campion, wearing number three, hailed the Under-23 players who have helped Fingallians move up to a new level. Picture: Kyran O’Brien

FINGALLIANS vice-captain Danny Campion cut a relieved and overjoyed figure at full time on Sunday, as the Swords club won promotion back from intermediate to senior football, defeating Ballymun Kickhams in the Dublin intermediate final.
Campion has suffered more than most as Fingallians fought to return to Dublin’s top table: having experienced their relegation from senior in 2011, he captained the side as they lost three consecutive finals in attempting to bounce back, in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
There’s not a hint of bitterness about the experience, though, as Campion reminisced after Sunday’s win, admitting that while the single-side promotion system is “harsh,” he feels that “it’s the same for everyone, and it makes the intermediate level extremely competitive.”
“We won’t just be looking to win a game or two and survive in the seniors next year now,” Campion told GazetteSport after the game. “We’re looking to make an impact, and follow on from what Castleknock [senior finalists two years after they defeated Fingallians in the intermediate final in 2014] have achieved.”
As one of the more experienced members of the team, Campion says much of the current squad is young enough to have missed those final defeats, and that’s stood to them on this particular championship run as they’re not weighed down by the past.
“So much of this team is so young, there’s a lot of Under-23s,” Campion explained. “They make up a lot of the panel, having come up over the last couple of years, and there are another half dozen waiting in the wings. Our squad has really stood to us.
“Ballymun really came at us in the first 15 minutes on Sunday, which we expected, and it was important we weathered that storm. They’re also a young, talented team, and Paul O’Brien in particular was superb; really key in stopping them.
“Once we got through that early charge and got in front, it was about making sure we kept our composure. We don’t really have a weakness in this side.
“Obviously, there’s Paul Flynn [Dublin forward] up front, but we’ve also got really, really strong players in midfield and defence. It’s so promising.
“Most of us have never played outside Dublin before so that’s something to really look forward to,” Campion said of the Leinster contest that gets underway next weekend, with Fingallians facing St Joseph’s of Louth.
“Our priority for next season has to be promotion from the second division in the league, though, as playing great sides every week is what will improve us the most.”
“It’s been great working with the younger lads,” Campion concluded.
“Those of us who’ve been around a little longer really just want to get them as far as we can, and set them up, because they have so much potential.”