O’Rourke acclaims the culture at Glen

By Niall Gartland

IF Malachy O’Rourke is feeling the pressure of delivering an All-Ireland title to Glen, he certainly wasn’t showing it at Monday evening’s press night at the Glen Centre.

The always affable O’Rourke spoke happily about the upcoming game, mingled with reporters and committee members and downed a cup of tea or two less than a week out from Sunday’s date with destiny against Roscommon side St Brigid’s.

It’s O’Rourke’s third year at the helm and they seem to tick a new box on an annual basis. Year One delivered a first ever Derry Senior Championship title, Year Two brought a historic Ulster title and Year Three…well we’ll find out in short notice if they become the latest side from the province to land All-Ireland honours.

O’Rourke spent seven years at Monaghan before taking the decision to step down in September 2019. He hasn’t been around at Glen a wet weekend either, and he’s developed a deep affinity with the club no matter what transpires at Croke Park this weekend.

“There’s no doubt about it. Glen is such a great club and always was, even before this recent success.

“You only have to look around you to see the great people who have been involved down the years.

“It’s a massive community club and when you get involved with people like this it wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t get emotionally invested as well, especially going through different battles together, winning things and having some disappointments as well.

“It creates a big bond and you want to just try your best to achieve as much as you can and that’s where the enjoyment comes from.”

O’Rourke’s stock has risen even further in recent years due to his success with the Watty Graham’s. There’s no question that he’s among the elite bracket of managers in Ireland, but ask him what exact traits combine to make a great manager and he isn’t tempted to dollop himself with praise.

“The obvious answer is good players, that helps! There’s a lot of different things to it, but if you look at Glen here, there’s a great set-up, a great committee and if you look at our management team, Ryan (Porter) does a lot of the coaching and we have Johnny (Bradley) and Mickey (McCullagh) as well.

“Everyone is giving their best and there’s a great culture in the club where everyone works really hard together. The commitment levels are really high and everyone is just trying to improve all the time. You have a group that are really ambitious and hungry so it’s just about trying to keep on top of everything and making sure that when you win something you don’t start getting carried away with yourselves, and it helps that the boys are very humble.”

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW