Lucan return to AFL1

by Staff Reporter

LUCAN Sarsfields’ senior footballers return to the big time of AFL1 is a feat that is well and truly deserved after two years of serious graft on and off the field, according to selector Ed O’Brien.
O’Brien, who is one of Sean McCaffrey’s right-hand men on the backroom team of the senior footballers in Lucan, spoke to GazetteSport after their promotional play-off final win over Skerries Harps on Sunday.
“We are all absolutely delighted,” he said. “For the players, it’s a well deserved reward after 24 months of solid hard work and real dedication.”
On a game played in wind that blew furiously right across the pitch, changing its mind every few minutes on which team it wanted to gain an advantage, it was Sarsfields who coped better, going on to record a 1-9 to 1-5 victory at the 12th Lock.
“We got to a play-off final last year and lost to Cuala and that’s really spurred us on this year,” said O’Brien when asked what he thought the difference was on Sunday.
“The players have been excellent right throughout the campaign. We were probably unfortunate to come up against Vincent’s in the championship which ended our run there but now that we’re back in AFL1, we will be competing with the best teams, week-in week-out which will, in turn, improve our chances of doing well when championship comes around.”
There was delirium for the Lucan players after the final whistle, particularly the more experienced heads like Paul Casey.
“For the likes of Paul, Stephen O’ Shaughnessy, Tommy Brennan and a couple of others, I am probably even more delighted for,” said O’Brien.
“These are lads that have been around this squad for so many years and given so much. When we missed out on promotion last year to Cuala, it would have been fairly easy for these lads to wipe their hands of club football and say enough is enough, but no. They’ve led the team and drove us forward this year and now they have another crack at the big time.”
Speaking ahead of the game, O’Brien said that Lucan’s home advantage could play a significant role in the play-off final and it seems he was right. “I think it played a huge role,” he said.
“We lost to Ballinteer not so long ago at home and since then we’ve done our best not to let it happen again and make home advantage count every time.
“The support was fantastic up at the club on Sunday, it was like the old days really and hopefully we’ve plenty more like it next season and in seasons to come.”

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