Stephen Kenny: 'A certain Daryl Horgan was playing right wing and we had Danny Lafferty left back - what a battle that was'

Thu, Aug 09 2018

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny was one of many interested observers from the League of Ireland keeping a close eye on proceedings at day one of the Galway Cup in Drom.

Kenny's son is one of the players taking centre stage at the tournament with the Dundalk Schoolboys League this week.

As the buses departed and the standings were finalised, Kenny was full of praise for the organisers of the tournament and everyone involved over the week, as well as the quality of football on display across the grades.

“It’s such a great tournament and it’s such a credit to everyone involved in organising it,” Kenny told extratime.ie.

“This is just such an amazing venue here in Salthill, I love coming here, so I do. The pitches are just immaculate and to be honest you’d love to have ten of these venues all over the country.”

Kenny is no stranger to the top-class facilities that are home to Salthill Devon and and, watching the action closely, fondly remembered one particular match played under his own watch while manager of Derry City.

Daryl Horgan had many a battle up and down the line here for Salthill and a number of pictures on the walls around the club house tell a very nice tale about how well he has done in the years since.

“I used to bring Derry City here training when Salthill were in the First Division and were quite a young side,” Kenny remembered.

“We came down here and a certain Daryl Horgan was playing for Salthill at the time. He was playing right wing and we had young Daniel Lafferty playing left back – what a battle that was.

“Danny went on to play for Northern Ireland and Daryl went on to play for Ireland and is doing very well across at Preston.

“It’s amazing the stories you get from places like this and hopefully we’ll see many more other groups as well.”

One of the notable observations is the number of counties that now have solid grassroots structures in place, especially those counties that have always been GAA strongholds.

“It’s so great to see every section of the country involved. The match I just watched had a Kerry team involved. Dundalk League are here, Clare this morning, Sligo and Leitrim as well”

“Different parts of the country that are not football strongholds, if you like, with major GAA influences up to now.

“It’s good to see football being played in these counties and the kids getting so involved.

“It’s great to see so many young kids trying to enjoy their football and this type of environment is fantastic for them where the matches are coming thick and fast.

“They are spending so much time with their team mates, these kids will remember this tournament ten and twenty years down the line and that’s the nature of it.

“The main thing is that they enjoy their football and try to express themselves throughout the week.”