By Barry O’Donnell
STEPHEN Beattie admits to feeling ‘privileged’ to be handed the opportunity to manage one of the county’s premier club sides in Carrickmore.
Beattie flipped roles with Ryan Daly and Noel Hurson during the off-season, though the latter two remain an invaluable part of his managerial set up, and it’s a case of so far so good for ‘Archie’ with Carmen winning all three of their opening league games.
Despite a raft of absentees they maintained their winning start with a hard-fought victory on the road against Omagh last Friday evening, Sean Loughran’s early goal ultimately proving the difference in a 1-10 to 0-10 victory.
So far Beattie is pleased with how his generally youthful set up have gone about their early season business.
“We have lads missing and lads to come back in. But it creates a great opportunity for other players who have worked very hard to throw their hat in the ring. They have had the chance to cut their teeth at senior level and I have been pleased with how they have reacted. They have got success in our first couple of games which is a bonus too.
“It was a good boost again to win at the weekend. You want to be playing football at Healy Park at the business end of the season. It is a big pitch with big open spaces and our lads enjoy playing there. I thought we handled ourselves really well against a good Omagh team the other night.”
Carrickmore of course emerged on the wrong side of a ‘County Final Classic’ against Errigal Ciaran in last year’s Championship decider, but Beattie insists that his charges have shaken off that bitter disappointment and are keen to bounce back.
“The mindset is positive. There has been a lot of hard work done in Carrickmore over the last number of years to bring all those younger players through and to get to a County Final. They have established themselves now as senior players.
“ I give a lot of credit to the past management for what they have done. I came in just last year and felt privileged to be asked to become involved. I want now to help to carry on that journey.
“That hunger is definitely there which you always get in Carrickmore anyway but it is about nurturing that hunger and timing it right to peak when you need to for the Championship.”
With the same personnel involved along the line, albeit in different roles this season, Archie states that he couldn’t wish for anymore in terms of support and attitude from everyone associated with Carmen.
“There has been a subtle shift in responsibilities but it is a very rewarding job when you have a panel of players that are willing to work and are willing to train and are willing to be coached.
“I am also fortunate to have a great management team around me and it is a team, it’s not just Archie Beattie. So I have had great support from
the committee and everyone at the club.”