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“I would hate to be an inter-county manager at the minute” | Antrim v Kerry | Casement Park boost

Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton on the Division 2A final between Kerry and Antrim, Darren Gleeson’s panel, life in the north, and running a bar

Shane Stapleton and Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton on the Division 2A final between Kerry and Antrim, Darren Gleeson’s panel, life in the north, and trying to run a bar.

Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton feels that this is the best Antrim hurling team he has seen since his own time as a player.

The Ruairi Og Cushendall man played with his county from 1981 to 1997, appeared in an All-Ireland final in 1989, and collected an All Star in 1991.

The Saffron County were regularly competing in the top division of the National Hurling League back then, and this Sunday the current crop will face Kerry in the 2A decider.

The winner will be promoted to the top tier, with the 2020 Joe McDonagh Cup coming quickly down the tracks.

“Our last game, we drew against Offaly,” McNaughton says of the 2020 league campaign. “I’ve said this to you before but I really like the look of this Antrim team.

“They have a forward line that can get at you and do damage… we have a forward line there that to me is the best forward line in a long time in Antrim.

“I believe this is the best Antrim panel since I was hurling,” he added. “This is a massive game for us.

“I would take a result in this game over any Joe McDonagh. This is more important.

“I thought we made more progress as a team when we got up to Division One, way back.”

McNaughton is also delighted to see that planning permission for Casement Park — which has been lying idle for seven year — has finally been granted, with an opening date set for 2023.

“We were like nomads, running around like gypsies looking for pitches here and there, with no real base, so it’s a massive relief,” he says.

“2023 might be a wee bit optimistic but at least it’s going to happen.”

Click play on the video at the top of the page to see more of the discussion.

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