AS his players and club-mates celebrated around him on Saturday afternoon, Aghada manager Ian Rose cut a contented figure on the sodden Crettyard turf.
An old saying tells us that it takes a village to raise a child, but for Rose, he felt it took a parish to develop this history-making team, and he was keen to point out the work of many people who made an All-Ireland junior victory possible.
“The reason we are a great team is because we have great families behind us, we have great people who bring the girls to training, they are a pleasure to deal with, they are easy to train. We have great talent and it’s just my job to bring them together.
“They are a credit to their families and themselves, you don’t have to do a huge amount of pushing, there is no great science in it, you just point them in the right direction and they look after the rest themselves.”
A blistering second-half performance from Aghada gave them their historic All-Ireland title on Saturday. Trailing by a point at half-time, the Cork champions were unplayable after the changeover as their intensity levels overwhelmed their opponents.
With Hannah Looney charging forward from midfield time after time, and Player of the Game Roisín Phelan battening down the hatches at centre-back, there was no route to victory for Corduff.
It caps a truly incredible year for Aghada, who have now won everything they possibly could have in 2017. The rest of the clubs in Cork should beware too, because with 13 of their starting 15 aged 20 or younger, this Aghada team are well positioned to progress even further.
“The occasion probably got to us in the first half, I felt.
“I thought the pitch was very flat, the ball didn’t bounce, and you could see a lot of the girls, even though they were told not to bounce it, they were struggling.
“It was a very intense game in the first half, it was very tight, but we re-grouped at half-time and we had a discussion, we just spoke about how we were happy with the backs, but we weren’t happy with the forwards, with either the quality of the ball that was going in, and the way they were attacking it.
“In fairness, they sorted that out in the second half, and once the better quality, low ball was going into them, the frees came and we eventually got a bit of an edge on Corduff.
“We got a bit of a break and got the goal, but they were by far the best team that we have played. On our path to the final, they’re the best team we have played, and I’d say the two best teams did make it to the final. They are mighty warriors.”
The celebrations in Aghada will go on for some days, but Rose, and the club, are clear on where their future lies.
“The club’s job now is to keep them together and try to move on. We’d like to be a senior club in a couple of year’s time.
“That’s really our goal and our ambition. Today is a bonus, but our real ambition is to be a senior club.”