Moorefield man, Mark Murnaghan, and his colleagues, Niall Hurley-Lynch and Seamus Fingleton, are in charge of the Wicklow ladies team as they take on Fermanagh in the LGFA All Ireland Junior Final this after noon.
We wish Mark and the lads All the Best for the match. Here is our interview with Mark in this week’s Kildare Nationalist.
By Pat Costello
DESPITE great performances in League and Championship Kildare’s Ladies Football team will not be in an All-Ireland Final in 2020 but their former minor manager, and indeed interim manager at one stage, Mark Murnaghan, will lead the Wicklow ladies’ team in to the All-Ireland Junior Final against Fermanagh in Parnell Park on this Saturday afternoon.
The Moorefield man is joined by clubmates, Niall Hurley-Lynch and Seamus Fingleton on the Garden County Management team for Saturday.
After a League campaign in which they played five games, winning one, drawing three and losing only once to Kildare, who were going very well at the time and, according to Murnaghan, Wicklow were missing the Tinahealy contingent.
Murnaghan was disappointed not to get the Kildare ladies team job when it was vacant. “I did apply for the job as I had worked with the players as interim manager and I knew there was a good group there. When I didn’t get it though I moved on to the men’s game for a while and I got a good bit of experience there,” he explained.
“I applied for the Wicklow ladies’ job around September/October last year and got the role in November and to be honest I haven’t looked back since. They are a great bunch of players to work with and they make my job very easy. I’m still involved with Carlow IT; I’m going in to my third year there. I love the College because the facilities are top class, you’re working with different players and college football is brilliant. In fairness to Alan Nolan and Donal McNally there they are very accommodating with me and the Wicklow training schedule,” the Manager added.
During the Covid -19 lockdowns the Wicklow players were given programmes to follow and as it was very hard on players training and not knowing when playing might resume Murnaghan gave the players some time off and they came back fresh.
Speaking of his Management colleagues the Moorefield man said, “I worked with Seamus (Fingleton) for maybe ten years now and we know each other inside out. Seamus will tell you things that you don’t want to hear on the sideline which is a Manager’s dream. I can’t speak highly enough of Niall (Hurley-Lynch); we trust each other as manager and coach. He does about 80/90% of the coaching on the pitch and we scored seven goals in the semi-final against Antrim and I think that tells you all about Niall’s coaching.”
Looking forward to Saturday’s final against Fermanagh the Moorefield man added, “We’re going well for the final, everyone is fit and the hard work has been done since last November. We’ll worry about our own game but if we perform on the day we’ll be in with a very good shout.”
“Fermanagh have a slight advantage in that they were in the final last year and know what a final is about, and maybe they have something to prove from last year. We beat them by four points in the Championship Group stage already but it’s a 50/50 game and if our girls perform on the day then Fermanagh will have to pull something special out of the bag,” he concluded.
We wish Mark, Niall and Seamus the very best of Lilywhite luck in Parnell Park on Saturday