By Michael McMullan
GLENULLIN have a wrong to right this weekend when they take on Glenravel on Sunday at Celtic Park.
They were on the wrong end of a hammering at the hands of a Galbally team who went all the way to the All-Ireland final last year.
“It did hurt,” stated Neil McNicholl, who scored the late, late goal to force extra-time in their recent Derry final win over Banagher.
Looking back, McNicholl feels they were happy with their lot with their championship title. There were more celebrations than a focus to push on.
“We are looking to kick on a bit more now,” he added.
“We conceded seven goals against Galbally. Now, the full focus is on the Glenravel and we are really looking forward to it because we have a wrong to right and we think we can push on.”
Glenullin have won back-to-back titles with the opportunity coming after Derry CCC’s restructure freezing promotion last season.
The Glen’ felt they didn’t get the full respect for winning the title last year and their never say die attitude has helped pull them out of sticky situations in crunch games.
McNicholl puts it down to spirit and having talent in all the right places. Eoin Bradley bagged 1-6. Fearghal Close came off the bench. There has been a return for Diarmuid and Ryan McNicholl.
“The more youth in the legs has pushed us on and there is a bit more drive in us,” McNicholl said. “There is always that energy to push on and that’s why we get those chances when other teams wouldn’t.”
He also points to the “four or five” players tipped to come off the current minor team to help push the senior team on another step.
“We are in a good place as a club,” he said. “Things are looking up when they weren’t two or three years ago when we should’ve been relegated.
“The turnaround we’ve had in the last two or three years has been amazing.”
Glenullin were beaten by Slaughtmanus in a play-off that looked to have deemed them to junior football only for Derry relegation not to be followed through on.
“I remember sitting at Celtic Park and wondering where do we go from here,” McNicholl recalled.
“I remember thinking there were too many boys who had their priorities wrong. Football wasn’t at the top of the list.”
Things have changed. Paddy Bradley came in as manager and changed the mentality, using the league to blood new players.
“The emphasis is that football is first and boys are getting their priorities right,” McNicholl summed up.
“Everybody is putting their shoulder to the wheel for everybody beside us and now we have the dividends.
“We have back-to-back championships. It hadn’t been done in 20-odd years and it had never been done in Glenullin’s history
“In my opinion, it’s only the start of it and we are going to push on a bit more.”