Flanagan hails management duo

By Michael McMullan

TIARNAN Flanagan praised the input of manager Malachy O’Rourke and his wing man Ryan Porter for their part in Glen’s success story. It’s a combination of wise words and peaking at the right time.

An underage attacking star and Ulster Minor final goalscorer with Derry, Flanagan was handed a wing-back role with Glen when their county contingent were on Derry duty and became a regular.

After spending the early part of this year in Canada, he broke back into the team and wore one of the brightest smiles in Armagh on Sunday.

“I’m sore, tired and over the moon,” beamed Flanagan, holding the equally glistening Seamus McFerran Cup. “It is hard to put into words, it’s unbelievable and you know you are making history for the club.”

The play-anywhere player commented on the pitch holding up well despite the conditions and how a “serious” Scotstown team would be back.

Having the breeze in the second half, Glen’s organisation and pressure on Scotstown’s kick-outs was the turning of the game in Flanagan’s eyes.

“Tiarnyyy,” bellowed Stephen ‘Steady’ McGuckian, a member of Glen’s backroom team as he dished out a high five. Those minutes after the final whistle are among the best in a career, If they could be bottled and sold, you’d make a fortune.

“This is a golden generation, there are serious players everywhere,” he said of playing on this current Glen team.

Getting into the team is a tough ask but the competition for places “rubs off” on each other and so the team spirit flourishes.

“Malachy sees things, anything he says…he is a philosopher…you are listening to him when he speaks,” Flanagan said of O’Rourke and how the Glen manager has handed him a range of roles.

“When you are put somewhere, you are put there for a reason. You believe in him and everybody believes in you.”

So, what is it about Ryan Porter, the man behind so many of O’Rourke’s teams?

“He’s a Spurs man,” Flanagan jokes, before taking a minute to delve into the mantra that once again saw Glen deliver a big game performance with their final quarter making the difference when the game was in the melting pot.

“He does everything well,” Flanagan said, now with his focused head on. “Training is slowly coming into the peak. His timing is everything. We are not running 10k in March; we are slowly building up and it keeps everybody fit, healthy and fresh.

“That’s the key of it and not rushing everybody at the one time. The round robin (stages in Derry), you can change it about and try things and you don’t really need to be at the peak at that stage.”

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