They beat Kerry in an exciting rain-soaked Munster final but fell short in the All-Ireland semi-final to a Mayo outfit that featured Alan Dillon, Billy Joe Padden and Gavin Duffy, who’d later concentrate on rugby. Manager Teddy Holland clearly learned from the loss as the 2000 minors got their hands on the big prize.
What was interesting about the '99 Rebel side, captained by St Vincent’s Paddy O’Shea, was how many pursued other sports after. Sure Conor McCarthy, David Niblock and Noel O’Leary, along with O’Shea, played numerous times at senior for their county, but half-backs Tom Kenny and Ronan Curran’s future lay as All-Ireland winning hurlers.
“I played a lot of GAA in street leagues and then GAA suplemented my soccer. I was with Avondale and St Michael’s but I played a lot in schools with Coláiste Chríost Rí. I played full-forward in the Corn Uí Mhuirí, even though with the Cork minors then I was midfield.”
“We won a Munster final down in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
“I didn’t know any better. If there was a session on I went and did it. I didn’t really get tired and I loved playing sport. For that month of August I was doing double football and then GAA. My last Gaelic match was in Croke Park when I lost that day.”
“Sometimes the door swings wide open, sometimes it’s just a little crack. You have to prepared to take that chance,” he explained to Tomás Ó Sé.