Sports

Moy striving to strike Kerry gold.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

MOY'S magical journey continues this weekend, taking them to Portlaoise for an All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship semi-final against An Ghaeltacht of Kerry.

Another huge occasion for the Tir na nOgs sees them take on the Munster champions for a showpiece appearance at Croke Park next month.

But they face a huge challenge against a talented Kingdom outfit that appears to be on its way back to the top in its own famous footballing county.

A mix of collective endeavour and star quality has taken Moy to a first county championship title in 35 years and to a first ever provincial success, and the players are determined to keep the remarkable run going.

They have had time to recharge the batteries over the Christmas break following a hectic schedule which ended in a narrow Ulster final win over Rostrevor of Down, and now they're bursting with energy and ready to go again with renewed vigour and passion.

The peculiar system used in the Kingdom means that Moy are facing up to a senior team this weekend, and An Ghaeltacht were recently crowned West Kerry SFC champions.

"It just shows you what we're up against. We're under no illusions as to the size of the task," said Moy's joint manager Gavin McGilly.

"They are a serious outfit, and I'm sure they'll have ambitions within the next year or two to push the Crokes for a shot at a senior title, as opposed to the intermediate.

"It's not up to them as to what the format is down in Kerry. It's stacked towards producing really strong intermediate challengers for the All-Ireland each year.

"If you look through the history of the competition, Munster clubs, and Kerry in particular, have done extremely well." But McGilly has no fears over the readiness of his players, and is confident they are capable of taking on the best.

"You have got to back your own players, and the quality that we have in our team, in the likes of Sean and Colm and Harry Loughran, and other players too, we have good players in our team." But they must produce the goods on the day if they are to stand any chance of getting to Croke Park.

"We're just hoping that they produce a team display that will be the best they have ever produced.

"That's ultimately what it's going to take to beat these boys.

"We were good in wee patches in the Ulster campaign, but I suppose we haven't put together a full 60 minutes yet, and if there's every going to be a day for it, it will have to be this day, because An Ghaeltacht are probably a step above anything that we have played to date.

"By the same token, we're really looking forward to it." The Moy community has really got behind the team, with support growing with each step of the way as they went through the Tyrone and Ulster championships.

"It gave people a good conversation filler as they met up over Christmas," said McGilly.

"They're talking about the Moy playing in an All-Ireland semi-final, and it's very important that that's not forgotten, the prestige that comes with representing Tyrone and representing Ulster.

"We'll be going down there to really give a good account of ourselves, and we'll see where that takes us." Now the Moy players are beginning to appreciate the fervour and passion that drives clubs like Crossmaglen and Slaughtneil as they chase their own special dream.

"What it does for a community is superb, it just gives everybody a total focus, a total togetherness, and it's all people want to talk about.

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