The surname Downey is synonymous with success in Derry football and tomorrow the family name will once again be to the fore when the Oak Leaf County take on Kerry in the 2020 All-Ireland Minor Championship final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore (1pm).
Skippering the side will be free-scoring forward Matthew Downey, whose father Henry captained the Derry side that won the All-Ireland senior title in 1993.
Downey jnr has been outstanding in Derry’s robust march into this decider but the team is by no means a one-man show. Not with players of the calibre of Lachlan Murray, Dan Higgins, Patrick O’Kane, Mark Doherty and Eoin McEvoy, among others, to share the load.
Kerry’s dominance of the All-Ireland minor sector has been such that they are invariably chalked down as the warmest of favourites to win every decider in which they participate.
Yet Derry manager Martin Boyle feels his team’s character and commitment will surface in abundance to keep the Kingdom at full stretch.
Like Derry, Kerry are imbued with explosive scoring power that is best epitomised by Keith Evans and Darragh O’Sullivan, both of whom were outstanding in the semi-final win over Roscommon.
If Derry can play to their full potential, however, there is the prospect of another member of the Downey clan lifting silverware at national level.