herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

vins boss is class

Conroy's troops will graft against Plunkett's

TOMMY Conroy speaks in the same way he used to play football.....quietly.

He could tip-toe through the tulips in Fairview Park.

His Dublin colleague, Ciaran Duff, said that he could land the ball on a tooth-pick.

They were team-mates on the Dublin side that won Sam in 1983. Tommy was a cultured centre-forward.

He still recalls with fondness the semi-final that year when Heffo's Heroes stormed the Lee.

Tommy was also a fine hurler. He played at midfield with the accomplished Tom Quinn, Mossy's father.

Tommy collected two Dublin senior hurling championship titles. And he was on board when Vins won the Dublin and Leinster football crowns in 1984.

GRACEFUL

More than most, he'd appreciate the graceful presence of Diarmuid Connolly.

"Diarmuid has had a fantastic year. He's a great example to the younger players.

"He is a special talent and he works hard. It's nice to be involved with him.

"It's great to see him produce it, week in, week out. And we have good players around him."

Tommy was reared in the Vincent's tradition. They had superstars in every era - lots of them.

When Vins secured All-Ireland gold in 2008, he was a selector under Mickey Whelan.

At the club, the sense of team underlines everything, and certainly so with this side.

They proved it against Ballymun Kickhams in the final, and in the replay, last season. And on through the Leinster campaign and All-Ireland series.

And if Vincent's are to win their first back-to-back title since 1977, it's the collective effort that will be required.

"We had some excellent displays in the semi-final against Ballyboden. Young Cormac Diamond came on and kicked a great score.

"Other people lifted the game as well. Michael Savage made a vital double save.

"It's not the first time Michael has done that for us. That's how good he is."

FULL ALERT

With the Brogan boys about, Michael and the rest of the Vincent's defence will make sure to be on full alert for the hour.

"Plunkett's are a terrific side," says Tommy. "I watched some of their semi-final. It will be big test. "It will be a difficult system to play against, but we have had a few days to look at things, so we'll see what we can do."

Overcoming Boden was no picnic. "Physically, it was very demanding game for both teams. There were some big hits going in.

"But we knew Boden would be tough opposition, and, in the end, the score-line didn't do them justice."

It could be tight and tense against Plunkett's.

"Granted, it's a final, but it's just another game for us. That's the way we look at it."

It's been a long and winding road for the All-Ireland champions.

The Vincent's faithful are hoping that this tour of the county will end once more with the Clery Cup.

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