Abbey Vocational hoping to take golden opportunity

By Niall Gartland

THE MacLarnon Cup title is safely secured for the first time in the school’s history, and Abbey Vocational manager Stuart McFadden is determined that they give the All-Ireland ‘B’ series a proper shot.

They take on Galway side Dunmore this Saturday in the Paddy Drummond semi-final in Sligo, and while they enjoyed the post-match celebrations having accounted for Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock a fortnight ago, they’re got back down to business again under the watchful eye of their manager.

“It was a brilliant day out in the MacLarnon final and obviously even better to get the win,” McFadden said.

“We’d a good evening back in the school with lots of photos taken and the families in attendance. They had the week off afterwards with the mid-term break but we got back to training last Thursday night and have got the boys set up again to have a crack at the All-Ireland series.”

McFadden is mindful that opportunities such as these don’t come around too often at any level. The chance of playing in an All-Ireland final is the carrot and he hopes they take it with both hands this Saturday.

“As we’ve said to the boys, this is an opportunity that they may never get again, to be in an All-Ireland final. It’s a prestigious predicament to be in.

“We said at the start of the year we’d give every game the respect it deserves and that we’d work from there. Hopefully come Saturday we’ll be able to say we’ve an All-Ireland final to look forward to.”

Abbey Vocational are backboned by members of the Four Masters team that reached back-to-back Ulster Minor finals at the St Paul’s tournament, winning on the second occasion with victory over Cavan Gaels on New Year’s Day. McFadden is delighted to have them on board but says it isn’t the Four Masters show either.

“It’s a team game and it’s not about the one to 15 either, we have 27 on the panel,” he said.

“We hold the boys who are likely to start to account and that makes everyone else better as well. There’s 12 on the starting team from Four Masters and we have two from Naomh Brid and one from St Naul’s. We’ve a good pick of players and that can only help make the team stronger.”

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