Slaughtneil will look to the sidelines for the calming influence of ‘cool man’ Mickey Moran, should they come under pressure in the St Patrick’s Day All-Ireland Club final.
Speaking to the Mid Ulster Mail, after the club picked up the Team of the Year award, Slaughtneil Chairman Sean McGuigan said the impact of manager Mickey Moran helped by John Joe Kearney could not be underestimated.
Meanwhile, former Derry star Tony Scullion believes Slaughtneil can cause an upset against the fancied Corofin.
And Tony, now a highly-rated coach who works for the Ulster GAA council, didn’t miss out on an opportunity to press home the point during a conversation last month with good friend and a former playing rival who has a massive opinion of the Galway and Connacht champions.
In his playing days, Fallon won Galway and Connacht club titles with Tuam Stars and has two all-Ireland medals, one of which came in 1998, with Ulster champions Derry their semi-final victims at Croke Park that year.
“I was talking to Jarlath Fallon a few weeks ago and he reminded that he had told me back last September that Corofin would win the All-Ireland club title in 2015” explained Scullion excitedly.
“He asked me if I recalled that happening and I said that I did, indeed, remember it. And I quickly reminded Ja that they haven’t actually won it yet” he explained with a typically impish grin.
“Not only that, but I warned him that, if there is one club team in the whole of Ireland, who can beat Corofin, that team is Slaughtneil Emmetts.
“It will be a difficult assignment for the Derry and Ulster champions, but sure every match they have been involved in this amazing championship run had been a hugely tough test for a team which has never before experienced anything like this.
“And every time they have come through them with flying colours. They are on an incredible roll and, when momentum is with you, it’s amazing where that can take you” assured Scullion, the Ballinascreen man pinning great faith in the Slaughtneil players, but also in their manager.
“The players have been tremendous and they don’t know the meaning of the word ‘defeat’ which is a sure sign of the hunger and desire needed to be the best you can ever be.
“And what can I say about Mickey Moran? He’s a remarkable Gael and the many folk who say he’s a great coach are selling him short, because he’s a terrific manager as well” said the hugely admiring Ballinascreen clubman.
“I have had enough experience of Mickey to know what his tremendous attributes are and he has every single one needed to be one of Gaelic football’s legends of all time. There has been none better that I know of anyway.
I warned him that, if there is one club team in the whole of Ireland, who can beat Corofin, that team is Slaughtneil Emmetts - Tony Scullion
“Wherever he has gone he has brought out the best in teams and always achieved success. It’s hard to know what you can put it all down to, but I just think the man has a great gift in being able to do that.
“Over the last twenty or thirty years, his heart is in everything he does and he is supremely modest about it all.
“And maybe the best is to come next Tuesday” added a hopeful, confident Scullion.