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Dessie Snr on ...

COMING BACK TO MANAGE GARRYCASTLE: "The talk was that they were finished, that Garrycastle have to rebuild. And they asked me would I come in again this year. I thought about it and spoke to (sons) Dessie and Gary about it. Gary had managed an U18 (amalgamated) team two years ago; five or six Garrycastle lads were involved and Gary reckoned a few would come through with a bit of coaching. The other thing that was bugging me was Dessie has played since he was a gossin with Garrycastle and he has failed to lift the Flanagan Cup ... that was an ambition I knew he had, and I had for him as well."

THE BRINK OF AN EARLY EXIT: "We lost two games in the championship (group stages) and then we found ourselves having to win a game. Even if we won the game, another result had to go our way for us to qualify for a play-off. And that's exactly what happened ... I think it cemented fellas' attitudes, big time. We had brought young lads into the panel that had freshened it up, and then the olders guys realised it was a 'now or never' type of thing."

GUNNING FOR LEINSTER: "There was no talk about it at all. Earlier on in the season, we probably never expected to win a county final - even though secretly I did, I felt that we were good enough. When we won it then, we didn't even talk about the Leinster game."

ST VINCENT'S: "All-Ireland champions. Some of the best footballers in the country. Diarmuid Connolly is an outstanding footballer, no question. Mossy Quinn - I can never understand why Dublin never used him more, I just can't. Ger Brennan atcentre-back ... sure, virtually every one of them have county experience of some sort.

"It probably is a daunting challenge, but the way I look at it personally ... I was happy enough to win the championship. The fact that we have won the first game in Leinster in a bonus; and anything after that, even playing the All-Ireland champions, is a bonus."

DESSIE JUNIOR: RETIREMENT U-TURN? "When Dessie makes up his mind, he makes up his mind. He's a very single-minded guy and, to be fair, he's had a great innings. He's 35 years of age now. Next year he'll be 36, and he'll just play with the club, I'd say. I think it was the right thing for him to do. Like, he still has that eye for a score and he still has that vision that very few people have, and he still has the workrate and all the rest of it. But once he makes up his mind ..."

FACING DUBLIN IN THE SIXTIES: "We had a manager called Brendan Quinn, who was a former Dublin player and a former Dublin winning manager ... he was an absolute gentlemen; a genuine, warm man.

"We beat them in the O'Byrne Cup, the National League; I think I was on four or five Westmeath teams that actually beat Dublin that time, which was remarkable really.

"We gave them a right hiding in Mullingar one day - it must have been an O'Byrne Cup game. A lot of people would think (beating Dublin in the 1967 Leinster SFC in Tullamore) was the highlight ... they were such red-hot favourites."

MEMORABLE TEAM TALKS: "Brendan gave us a team talk before we played the Dubs the first time. He said 'I played with the Dubs and I love the Dubs, I managed the Dubs and we won the All-Ireland' ... I'm going to tell ye how to beat them'. And we were all ears, of course! We thought this magical thing was going to come up. He said: 'What you do with the Dubs is you hit them hard early on, hit them with every thing you have ... and you'll knock them off their stride. You've a chance to 'bate' them then'. And that was the team talk!"


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