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It's all go as Kilcoo ace Laverty targets three key missions

Triple aim: busy man Conor Laverty is eyeing a novel hat-trick
Triple aim: busy man Conor Laverty is eyeing a novel hat-trick
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Conor Laverty is facing into one of the busiest periods of his football career at a time of the year when most other people are putting their feet up.

The 34-year-old Kilcoo skipper will find himself engaged on three fronts between now and the first weekend in January but you won't hear a murmur of complaint from him.

Laverty is manager of the Kilcoo minor team that will face Donegal outfit Termon in the Boxing Day semi-final of the Ulster minor club champions tournament at the St Paul's club in Belfast and will line out for the Kilcoo senior string in the All-Ireland club semi-final against Dublin aces Ballyboden St Enda's at Kingspan Breffni, Cavan on Saturday January 5.

Sandwiched between these two assignments he will take more than a passing interest in Monaghan's opening game in the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup against Derry at Inniskeen next Sunday, before turning his attention to their second game which will be away to Donegal at Ballybofey.

As part of manager Seamus McEnaney's backroom team, Laverty is keen to see Monaghan get the new season off to an encouraging start but, obviously, he is very strongly focused on targeting progress in both minor and senior levels for Kilcoo.

His inclusion in the Monaghan management set-up - he is also Director of Football at Trinity College, Dublin - underlines Laverty's voracious appetite for the game and the level of sacrifices he is prepared to make in order to fulfil his numerous commitments.

"It's certainly all happening but I wouldn't have it any other way," says Laverty. "Obviously the progress of our minor team into the semi-finals of the Ulster tournament is greatly encouraging and it would be tremendous if we could reach the final. "

"But there are three other very good sides still in the hunt for the trophy so we have to keep on our toes."

The Kilcoo team's clash with Ballyboden St Enda's in the All-Ireland senior club semi-final has aroused tremendous interest because the Down champions are thought to have a good chance of making it into the final in which they would meet either Galway standard-bearers Corofin or Cork title-holders Nemo Rangers.

Both these clubs have vast experience of the All-Ireland stage and the winner of their semi-final is likely to be cast in the role of favourites to lift the trophy.

Corofin, backboned by several experienced Galway county players, are keen to land a hat-trick having won the All-Ireland title in each of the past two years while Nemo Rangers also boast a strong pedigree in the competition.

Belfast Telegraph


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