AS they left Kilmallock this time last year Drom-Broadford minds were already thinking towards 2016.
The west Limerick men have suffered Limerick SFC final defeat on three occasions – 2000, 2007 and 2015.
In 2001 and 2008 they returned the following year to win silverware and on Saturday they bid to continue that trend of turning defeat into victory.
“The plan at the start of the year would have been to get back to the final, especially after getting there last year and losing - we really wanted to get back there and rectify where we were last year when losing to Newcastle West,” outlined joint-manager Neil Conway.
“The players were hurt after that and made a decision early on that we were going to work to try rectify last year. Newcastle West seemed hungrier - we had spoken that Newcastle would come at us like an express train and that’s who it turned out. They started very well and got points and then they were able to defend that and made it very hard for us to get back into the game. Losing the final was enough hunger for a lot of them,” outlined Conway.
The former wing back and player-manager Micheal Reidy are in their second season at the helm of Drom-Broadford, with coach Moss McCarthy an addition.
“From my point of view and Micheal’s we felt we had unfinished business and it wouldn’t have been the right time to walk away,” said Conway.
”For the older lads the passion is always the same - lads with work commitments and kids and they are as hungry as ever and that instills hunger in others. They help drive everyone in training and everyone buys into it,” he outlines.
While injuries blighted parts of the campaign, there were fresh faces.
”We have a couple of lads like John and Ger O’Gorman, Dan Gayer and Bryan Hannigan from Feenagh-Kilmeedy and they have integrated well into the team and we have a sprinkling of youth that we are trying to blend into the team. This year our hand was forced - in the first game against Ballylanders there were nine missing from the final team against Newcastle West. When you look at the players missing there were four inter-county footballers out of action,” said Conway.
The manager is full of praise for his players and their commitment.
”There is a huge appetite for sport - we live in a rural area and maybe there isn’t anything else and we don’t have rugby like some of the bigger places.”
But there is hurling and soccer.
”Organisation is a big part of it - we have to work with the soccer manager because as we come to the end of our football season we would be demanding a lot more training and for them the season is just starting and they are trying to get points on the board and there is an overlap. It requires everyone to work together and not against eachother - if we don’t work together it is the players that suffer.”
For Saturday, Conway reports: “it’s where we wanted to be”.
”It would mean everything – it gives us an opportunity to right the wrong of last year. We will be ready to go and give it our best and hopefully things will go right for us.”
“We have had numerous battles with Monaleen down the years. We would know players on a name to name basis. All our players would know the Monaleen lads and even in management myself and Micheal would have played against Alan Kitson, Fergus Melody and Muiris Gavin down through the years – there is a familiar rivalry there,” said Conway at the media event of sponsors Irish Wire ahead of the final.