TOMAS Quinn is confident that his St Vincent’s team can get even better as they prepare for their 2014 club championship decider against Castlebar Mitchels on St Patrick’s Day.
Speaking to GazetteSport after being presented with the Leinster club player award from AIB, sponsor of both the GAA and camogie club championships, at Croke Park for his impressive performances throughout 2013, Quinn was keen to focus on the team, not the prize.
”It’s a great honour. The truth of winning awards is that it means our team is still winning matches, which I think is the most important thing, and it means that we have another important day to look forward to in a couple of weeks’ time. I think if winning awards helps us to get there, it doesn’t matter which one of us gets it.”
Castlebar’s Richie Feeney was the recipient of the Connacht #TheToughest provincial footballer award, and was one of the attendees at Croke Park last week, where he came face to face with Quinn ahead of their match on March 17.
“One of the beauties of GAA is that you can hold a conversation with your opponents! He was sitting at my table for lunch and we had a chat and it was very pleasant, but it will be very different in a couple of weeks’ time.”
St Vincent’s will face Castlebar after Quinn top-scored for the Marino club, his 1-8 the foundation of their semi-final win against Ballinderry Shamrocks, while the Connaght champions progressed against Dr Crokes, who suffered from the departure of Colm Cooper early on.
Quinn is confident that St Vincent’s can capitalise on the performances to date and build a stronger platform for victory as training continues ahead of the final.
“The training is going great. This is the game every club player wants to play in, so the chance to be preparing for this is brilliant. We have a lot of work to do, we know we can keep getting better, and we have a couple of weeks to keep trying to improve.
“We will do our homework on Castlebar as a team ahead of the final, but we obviously still have a few weeks to go and it hasn’t come into our training yet, although we will definitely have a look at them beforehand.
Quinn has been on this stage before in 2008 when he helped guide St Vincent’s to the club championship title against Nemo Rangers as the captain of the side, providing seven points in the side’s tally of 1-11, and he has clear memories of that day in March six years ago as well as clear expectations of the task that will face St Vincent’s in almost three weeks time.
“The biggest memory is the final whistle and winning, it’s the memory you’ll always take away from a day like that. As far as expectations are concerned, it’s just how hard a game as we’re going to be facing. Whoever came up with #TheToughest as a tagline deserves a raise, because the competition has proven itself to be that. The run that Castlebar have beaten to get to the final, we know it will be a tough game.”