herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Jackies' attitude key to silverware

HE'S been on the Dublin Beat for years. He's a bit of a hero. An unsung one.

Everybody calls him Pablo. He has that easy way about him. Players relate to him.

He's been involved in so many teams, and earlier this year, Paul Gilheaney walked into the sunshine.

He got the big gig – manager of the Jackies. He didn't want any fuss. But soon enough, and sure enough, he was getting a reaction where it mattered most.

SECURED

And now the Leinster title is in the bag and a place secured in the All-Ireland quarter-final against Cork on Saturday in Birr (2.15).

But Pablo quickly waves away any credit. He says it's the attitude of the players that has been the most important factor.

"I knew if we could get the thing up and running, that they would respond. And, to be fair, they are the ones that have been driving it on.

"I might be the manager – the leader if you like – but it's the players that have been doing the business.

"We didn't get back to it till February, but you could tell that everybody was keen. We improved our fitness. Things began to come together and we were able to build that bit of momentum. And now we find ourselves in the quarter-final."

CONTRIBUTION

Paul also salutes the contribution of his management colleagues for their part in securing the Leinster prize. "The Leinster title is a serious trophy to win. It's nice to be rewarded with a bit of silverware."

It's a journey that Pablo doesn't want to see ending. And it's the same with his Captain Fantastic, Sinead Goldrick.

"The hard work does pay off," says Sinead. "We took a lot from the Kildare and Meath matches. In the last ten minutes of the Leinster final, our fitness really showed."

And now for the last eight. "In the last two years we have lost the All-Ireland quarter-final by a point, so here's hoping for third time lucky. But we all know it's going to be tough."

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