Michael McCann’s stirring efforts in Antrim’s colours this year contributed hugely towards the team’s elevation to Division Two of the National Foootball League.
And as well as sharing in the team’s triumph, there was an end-of-season bonus for McCann when he joined the Vodafone Allstars party for their glamour trip to Kuala Lumpur.
Right now McCann is again off on his global travels only this time on honeymoon having just married prominent Antrim ladies footballer and camogie player Seanin Daykin.
Yet McCann, a busy quantity surveyor, is still confident that he will be able to assist his county for part of their Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup campaign.
“I will miss the opening game against Armagh on January 9 but I would be hopeful of seeing some football action before the end of the month. I was delighted to be called up as an Allstar replacement as this gave me the opportunity to rub shoulders with players that I would not normally get to meet,” said McCann.
He has already won an Antrim championship medal with Cargin — the team’s chances of any sort of dominance have been undermined by St Gall’s sustained reign at the top — and now he is keen to see Antrim make an even bigger impact this year.
“We have won promotion in each of the last two seasons which is just fantastic and now we will be playing teams like Tyrone, Derry, Donegal, Kildare and Meath in the league. This will be a real challenge for us but one to which we are looking forward eagerly. And then there’s the Ulster championship to consider,” smiled McCann.
While his authority in the central area will be missed for part of the McKenna Cup competition, Antrim also lose four players to university sides — Sean Burke, Colin Fleming, Sean Finch and Mark Sweeney.
Fleming, whose father Sean is chairman of the South Antrim Board, chairman of Rossa and their team manager, is now charting an impressive CV for himself having fully recovered from a serious neck injury that a few years ago threatened his playing career.
McCann’s new bride Seanin is one of the most high-profile female GAA personalities in Antrim, having represented the county in ladies football and camogie. She plays camogie with Rossa and her football with St Gall’s and has won honours in both codes.