Mossie Barrett's junior football teams were an ideal feeder for senior squad

Mossie Barrett's junior football teams were an ideal feeder for senior squad
Cork coach Mossie Barrett with Seamus O'Sullivan after defeating Roscommon to win the All-Ireland junior football final at Portlaoise in 2007. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

NOT too many people can lay claim to have had the distinction of coaching their county to four All-Ireland titles.

Add in the fact that the same coach won two All-Ireland Senior Club Ladies Football titles and you get a great sense of achievement.

The question in person is Mossie Barrett who was at the helm when the Cork junior footballers claimed the All-Ireland crown in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2009.

In those years they were Munster champions as well, of course, defeating their arch-rivals from across the county bounds on a few occasions.

Barrett has happy memories of those times and this week he spoke to The Echo about them.

“Firstly, I would say that the feedback from the players and their clubs was fantastic at the time. There was always great support forthcoming from the clubs and there was never any question of getting players released for training.

“Secondly, I suppose there was great satisfaction to be got when you saw a lot of the players going on to represent Cork at senior level.

“I was fortunate enough to have players like Paudie Kissane, Donncha O’Connor, Noel O’Leary, Alan O’Connor, Daniel Goulding, Ciaran Sheehan, Aidan Walsh and Ger Spillane all playing junior with me before going on to play with the seniors.

“Diarmuid O’Sullivan and Tom Kenny played in those years as well and there was great satisfaction to see all those lads achieve so much afterwards.”

Barrett said that for the players who came from smaller clubs to win an All-Ireland medal was everything.

“Of course, All-Ireland medals at any level don’t fall off trees, a lot of these lads came from small clubs across the county and they took great pride in getting the opportunity to win something with Cork.

“The clubs that they played for gave them great support, being at all their games at the different venues.”

Former Donoughmore ladies football coach Mossie Barrett. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Former Donoughmore ladies football coach Mossie Barrett. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Barrett told The Echo that he was fortunate too to have had some great football people around him in those All-Ireland winning years. “Yes indeed, first we were a team ourselves off the field, myself and the selectors and I got great support from all of them.

“I had great football men like Mick Lewis, Seanie Bowes, Mick Lyons, Donal McCarthy, the late Jim Forbes, Mick Walsh among them.

“They put in a huge effort in assisting me and we worked well together.’’ And there was great support too in those years from the Cork County Board.

“There was, they gave us anything we wanted, they were always there to support us and took great joy out of our victories, Frank Murphy and the rest of the officers.

“We had great times on our travels on Wednesday nights and winning a Munster title on a Wednesday night against Kerry was extra special.

“A lot of players would have been involved in those four winning years and, of course, if you won one year you had to have a completely new panel the following one.”

Going back to the players at his disposal, Barrett believed he was fortunate to have some great goalkeepers at his disposal in those times.

“Without doubt, you had Kevin Murphy from Boherbue, Paddy O’Shea (below) from St Vincent’s, Pat Mackey from Youghal and Alan Quirke the All-Ireland senior ‘keeper in 2010.

“All of those fellas were top quality goalkeepers and that was a great starting off point for us, having those reliable guys involved.

“I enjoyed every game and if ask me what was the best of the four titles that we won I would probably say the first.

“That took the pressure off you completely, you had that All-Ireland in the bag going forward. The last one in 2009 was extra special too because it put us ahead of Kerry in the All-Ireland list but they have overtaken us since.”

And the victories with the Donoughmore ladies footballers.

“A great bunch of girls, absolutely fantastic to work with. We had some memorable times when we won 11 consecutive Munster titles to go with the two All-Ireland titles.

“We used to have over 120 sessions a year on the training pitch and you had some fantastic girls playing on those teams, players who had great success with Cork.”

Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

So great times then for one of the most genuine people ever to be involved with a Cork GAA team.

“The friends you make are as important as the wins, I‘d still be in touch with a lot of those people today, we’d recall some of the games that we were involved in.

“It was honour to have been chosen by your county and the times and the victories we had were lasting memories.

And he is still involved.

“I am, I am with Freemount junior hurlers in Duhallow and I am back with the Donoughmore junior ladies.

“It’s something that I enjoy and that keeps you going in the good times and maybe not so good.”

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