Kevin McStay looks at the power and experience of Padraig Pearses and how Pat Flanagan led them to a maiden county title in 2019, but how St Brigid’s continue to bring through young talent to quickly make it back to a county final.
Kevin McStay feels that St Brigid’s young team can dethrone Padraig Pearses in the Roscommon final this weekend.
The latter finally lifted their maiden title in 2019 under Pat Flanagan and returned to this year’s decider with a 1-11 to 1-10 win over Clann na nGael in the semi-final.
St Brigid’s saw off Boyle on a scoreline of 2-15 to 2-9, but theirs is a team buttressed by youth against a grizzled side backboned by the Daly brothers.
McStay managed Brigid’s to an All-Ireland club title win in 2013, and there has been a big turnover of players in the seven years since.
Yet here they are at the big stage once more, and the Ballina native insists that their underage coaching prepares the youth to step up quickly.
“When you are a young player in Brigid’s you have been through a lot, and they are fundamentally good players,” McStay exclusively tells OurGame.
“When you put that in a pot with Benny O’Brien as manager, he is going to make the most of them.
“Any chats I’ve had with with Benny was just ‘it’s lovely to be involved with them — there’s no hassle or bulls***, they turn up and do their work and are ready to play’.
“The only thing holding them back at this stage is their senior experience.
“Maybe I’m naive about this but we won our championships when we were young — there’s the other side of youth that doesn’t care.
“They don’t get all this mad stuff into their heads like we do in our late 20s, where the little fella in here (points to his head) starts asking you questions. They’re there to have a cut.
“There will be a physicality reality (against Pearses), but that mental reality might never dawn on a young fella.
“He might just think this is more more than a minor final and ‘sure, don’t we win all of those?’
“So there could be that aspect, but that is a bit innocent perhaps.
“There will be plenty of thunder but Brigid’s are capable of winning it, there’s no doubt about that.”
McStay also ponders whether Pearses are in a position to build on last year’s maiden title, looks at some of the key players, and his own time with Brigid’s.
Click play on the video at the top of the page to watch the full preview, and click here to watch McStay preview the Mayo final between Breaffy and Knockmore.
Roscommon SFC final
Dr Hyde Park: Padraig Pearses v St Brigid’s, Sunday 3.0
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