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Horan brothers prepared for important final for Enniskillen

By Mark McGoldrick

THE Brewster’s, the Bradley’s, the Gunn’s, the Cassidy’s, those are just a few of the names synonymous with Enniskillen Gaels and all with one thing in common- brothers who have donned the Gaels’ jersey and reaped massive success.

Now, a new crop of brothers, Brandon and Josh Horan, are bidding to win the New York cup this year and end Enniskillen’s wait for senior championship glory.

At just 21 years of age, Brandon Horan is one of the most experienced players in the Enniskillen Gaels side. The highly rated Fermanagh county star has already enjoyed success in schools’ football. He captained St Michael’s College to MacRory and Hogan Cup success in 2019 and led Enniskillen to an Ulster Minor Championship title the previous year.

To win the senior championship on Sunday, would top all of his playing achievements to date.

“It would mean everything, any chance you get to win silverware for the club is great, not just for the players and management involved, but the community as a whole.

“I’ve been lucky I suppose to play in such great teams, but to win on Sunday would be the pinnacle of my career so far. It has been a long time since we have won a senior championship and to end this wait would be huge for the club.”

Enniskillen are a young team, with plenty of individual talent, but championship experience is hard to come by. Not one player on the County Town side has tasted senior championship glory before, but Brandon feels that this will not matter come Sunday.

“This year we have adapted to senior championship football well and our young players are starting to come through and demonstrate their qualities. We have leaders all over the pitch, no matter what the age.

“It helps when we have an experienced management team behind us who have been there before and know what it takes to win. Personally, I just try to give everything for the team, from training to match day, and it is important to keep standards high and thankfully, we have a team full of committed players who share the same interests and goals.”

One of the young players to burst onto the club scene this year is Brandon’s younger brother, Josh. In his first year playing senior, Josh has impressed for Enniskillen and was particularly impressive against Belnaleck when he was given the task of man-marking Art MacMurrough’s talisman, Garvan Quigley.

This year has not been simple for Josh who is studying in Liverpool. Despite the demands of travelling, Josh is happy with the level that his game is at.

“Obviously this has had a bit of an impact regarding the training during the week, however I’ve been training religiously both with my University and each week with the Gaels and I feel like I am in a very good position regarding fitness and awareness of our game plan.”

While a senior championship final is a big day for the clubs and everyone involved, it will be extra special for the Horan family, with both Brandon and Josh set to start for the Gaels on Sunday.

Josh feels that playing with his brother on the big stage could not be any more special.

“I’ve been playing with Brandon from the day I can remember kicking a football, so obviously it’s a massive bonus to have the same person on the field to this day. We have been through thick and thin in regards club, county, or college football, so I’m confident I can trust him and he’ll have my back the same way I’ll have his.

“We both understand each other’s playing style” says Brandon, “obviously have a good relationship both on and off the pitch. It is special lining out together and adding trophies makes it that wee bit more memorable.”

“I’ve been involved with Enniskillen Gaels as long as I can remember” adds Josh, “it has always stuck with me that the players you’ve grown up idolising, such as the likes of Ryan McCluskey or Tom Brewster, have each individually, and as a unit, done great things for the club. This has been a real motivator for me personally because you never know, you or the players around you could be the next motivator for the young people coming up from within the club.”

Josh and Brendan Horan 13112021

Brothers… Josh and Brendan Horan of Enniskillen Gaels

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