I had worked with Marty Dunne, Paul O’Hea and Aidan Cleary when managing Queens so it was easy to chip in where I knew people. My first introduction was watching them play Glack in the Junior/Intermediate promotion game. As I stood watching beside Paul O’Hea Senior and witnessed his vocal torture of the poor referee I knew these city folks weren’t much different to what I had come from in Saul. I’d fit right in!
Gaelic Games are part of my DNA and the people of Pairc Brid were the same. I had never envisaged leaving my home club but life often takes you down different paths and in the end I was more than happy to follow the one that involved my now wife heading back home to Derry with me in tow!
I’ll always be grateful for the opportunities my time as a player and manager of Steelstown Brian Ogs has afforded me. The painful memories of losing the likes of Brian Og, Charlene and Brian Cooper Snr have been tempered with some wonderful memories like the '06 minor semi-final against Kilrea, winning promotion to senior football, our first victory in the Senior Championship against current John McLaughlin Cup holders, Magherafelt, and above all, meeting some terrific people.
I know there’ll be a few raised eyebrows on my selection but here goes!