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Saturday 3 December 2016

Coach who helped build Dublin's success will be busy shouting for Kerry

Holy Trinity SNS. Headmaster Jerry Grogan from Kerry with another teacher David Henry who is an ex-Dublin County player and their students in Dublin colours.
Holy Trinity SNS. Headmaster Jerry Grogan from Kerry with another teacher David Henry who is an ex-Dublin County player and their students in Dublin colours.
Wednesday 16 September 2015. Holy Trinity SNS. Headmaster Jerry Grogan from Kerry with another teacher David Henry who is an ex-Dublin County player and their students in Dublin colours.
Wednesday 16 September 2015. Holy Trinity SNS, Grange Rd. Donaghmede.

Jerry Grogan has spent 40 years overseeing the coaching of generations of future Dublin footballers - yet on Sunday he will roar his heart out for Kerry.

This weekend is not an easy one for a keen football man who was born in the Kingdom, but has devoted so much to the Jackeens.

Jerry, from Cahersiveen in West Kerry, has overseen the early development of players and former players such as Alan Brogan, Dean Rock, Jim Gavin, Ciaran Whelan and Peadar Andrews, watching them grow up in blue jerseys and become names in their own right.

Cream

As principal of Holy Trinity Senior National School in Donaghmede, he knows the value of sport in schools and he is passionate about it.

Former Dublin county player David Henry is also a teacher in the school.

As a member of the Cumann na mBunscol primary schools group, Jerry gets to oversee the cream of young talent in Dublin GAA.

Next Sunday, some of his former charges will do battle with Kerry on the biggest day in Irish football.

So who will he support?

"This time out I'll be shouting for Kerry, but if Dublin win I suppose I can take some pride in it, too," Jerry said after a little hesitation - conflicting passions trying to rule both his head and his heart.

"I wouldn't say it too loud in Kerry, but in 2011 I was cheering for Dublin because they hadn't won it in so long. It was a real boost to the county and invigorated a new passion in the sport.

"Suddenly everyone was talking about it," he added.

Jerry reckons the longer rest will have done his native county some good.

"If Cooper, O'Donoghue and Geaney start up front on Sunday, I don't think Dublin will have the measure of them," he said with a chuckle.

"I think Kerry will win by three or four points, but I hope it's a good game, a close game, and very importantly - a clean game," he said.

Jerry also works as Croke Park's chief presentation steward on match days, ensuring that every minute of his spare time is given to the GAA.

He said he was getting numerous calls from people hoping he will be able to swing them tickets for the final.

"People that would walk past me in the street in Cahersiveen are ringing me, and my daughter in New York is even getting calls from people. [Tickets] are like gold dust," he said.

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