Local support spurs Macauley’s Boden

by Gazette Reporter
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MICHAEL Darragh Macauley says the mood around Ballyboden St Enda’s is something to behold in the build-up to the club’s AIB Leinster SFC final showdown with Portlaoise on Sunday.
“There is a huge bit of hype around Rathfarnham and Ballyboden at the moment, it’s brilliant,” he says.
“ If you go up Firhouse Road there are flags as far as the eye can see, posters put up on every wall. You are not able to to drive down any street without seeing some Ballyboden colours or posters somewhere so everyone has bought into it and there are more and more going to every game.”
It is providing a new buzz for him in a career that has already yielded three All-Ireland medals, four Leinsters and two Allstars as well as the 2013 Footballer of the Year title and he is loving the support for Boden, the club which helped make him who he is.
“Every player bar two has come up right through our academy. Lads have been looking forward to playing with the seniors for a long time and are making the most of it.”
As Dublin champions for the first time since 2009 – and only their third time ever – expectations are sky high but Ballyboden’s experience that year, when they were ambushed by Westmeath champions Garrycastle in the Leinster semi-finals, has provided a valuable lesson.
“Sometimes people expect a Dublin team to walk through Leinster, like Kilmacud and Ballymun and St Vincents who have all done well for themselves in Leinster and the All-Ireland series.
“We got a rude awakening in 2009, it definitely stuck with us. It’s not easy to win the Dublin championship so it’s important to take every advantage in Leinster when you can,” he says.
After failing to nail down a starting place with Dublin last summer Macauley is arguably hungrier than ever and admits that he was confident that Ballyboden could win a county title this season.
“It was definitely on my list of ‘things to do’ this year because I knew how good this Ballyboden team was,” he says.
“I’d been hearing for years about these young fellas winning at underage for Ballyboden, winning Feiles and coming up through minors.
“They’re finally hitting 19 to 21 now and breaking into our team and really pushing for places.”

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