COLIN McAree has labelled Scotstown as a “once in a lifetime squad” as they collected the Mick Duffy Cup for a sixth time in eight years against Ballybay on Sunday.
The comfortable 1-14 to 0-7 win avenged last year’s surprise defeat to Clontibret. That was their second final defeat in the last eight seasons – the O’Neill’s also getting the better of them in 2014 – in one of the most prolific runs in Monaghan club history.
“That’s for other people to decide,” said the manager when asked was this now one of the greatest teams in Monaghan history.
“What I would say is that they probably are a once in a lifetime squad. You have the county players there who provide phenomenal drive and determination. They are real leaders and brilliant footballers.
“Then you have the core group of club players who are just so driven as well. This year we were very lucky because we were able to all stay together. Usually the boys come back after the county season and there is a very short window.”
While it is predominately a young squad, there are a few players who have plenty of miles on the clock. McAree, part of a management team also consisting of Brian McGinnity, Diarmuid Scullion and Kevin Boylan, said that everyone would be given space to make up their minds.
“We talked about it after the game but it’s a time to enjoy things for a couple of days.
“We’re lucky this year that we were able to bring in a couple of lads who were playing in their first championship final and other guys who weren’t starting over the last three or four years became starters. We have that balance there.
“Nobody has hung the boots up yet and we would be keen for boys to stick around and see how they feel next year. They have earned the right to decide what they want to do though, they owe Scotstown nothing.”
It was an extra special weekend for McAree as his home club Monaghan Harps claimed the Intermediate title with victory against Cremartin.
“It’s not often you get weeks like that, so it was great.
“I wasn’t at it. Just with our game on Sunday, I had to have my full focus and energy on our game. I was absolutely delighted.”
By Niall McCoy