Conor eyes minor glory
CONOR BARRY hails from the small Cavan village of Arvagh. He's the new Dublin ladies football minor manager.
He's only 31 but admits he has hung up the boots . . . for now.
"I believe if you are going to do a job, you have to do it right," he says.
"I want to give this position my full attention. And to be honest, I think my talents lie on this side of the white line rather than on the pitch.
"So I don't think I'll be getting the call to put on the boots again any time soon," he smiles.
He teaches at Hartstown Community School. His success there led him to St Peregrine's where he made a fine impact. Then came the county call.
He has assembled a worthy backroom crew -- Bobby McNulty, Paul O'Donovan, Mick Neville, Deirdre Colgan and Damien Prout.
They have just named the squad. "In doing so, I'd like to thank all our training panel of 45 girls," states Conor.
Training takes place all over the county. Conor appreciates clubs opening their gates like St Brigid's, Ballyboden St Enda's, Naomh Mearnóg, O'Toole's and Garda.
He's relishing the road ahead.
"It will be a learning curve. It will take us a while to find our feet, but we are excited. We have a talented group of girls and hopefully we'll enjoy a good run."
The panel includes eight members of last year's All-Ireland winning squad, three who were on the first 15 and five who were on the bench.
"We also have some of last season's under-16s, and we are particularly thrilled to have new players coming on to the panel.
"Overall, we are very pleased with the players we have.
"They have a good attitude and they are prepared to put in the work," adds Conor.
"We are optimistic. But we have to keep putting in the effort. The standards have improved so much in the sport.
"Much of that is down to the excellent coaching that is being done in the clubs, schools and so on. Coaching is now better organised than ever it was."
Dublin's opening game will be at home to Kildare on February 23. They then travel to the Garden County to face Wicklow before hosting Wexford in their last group fixture.
The top two teams from the two groups go into the Leinster Championship semi-final, with the first placed team in one group playing the runners-up in the other grouping. When time allows, Conor loves to head down the Blakestown Road to see all his friends at Peregrine's in Dublin 15.
"It's a wonderful club. The facilities are first class, and I must say the people there are so genuine."
No doubt, they'll all be wishing him the best of good luck as he stands on the bridge of the Dublin Starlight Express.