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Kilcoo have the skills to reign at Croker: McEvoy

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John Campbell

By John Campbell

It's not often that a full-back lands three points in a game at any level, but then when you are a precociously talented teenager you have the capacity to buck trends.

When Kilcoo overcame Ballyboden St Enda's in the All-Ireland Club semi-final 10 days ago, Ryan McEvoy landed three points of their 2-6 total, two coming from frees and the third coming from play in the tense closing moments when the game was very much in the balance.

Nineteen-year-old McAvoy may be one of the young guns in the Kilcoo side but the fact that he is steeped in football has certainly facilitated his progress in the No.3 shirt.

As he prepares to face Corofin's dynamic forward trio of Ian Burke, Liam Silke and Michael Farragher in Sunday's All-Ireland Club football final, McEvoy believes that Kilcoo's inherent belief, towering ambition and vibrant support will prove key weapons as they strike out for glory.

"Our manager Mickey Moran has instilled confidence in us and tells us to keep our shape and our concentration no matter what happens. That's what we have been doing and it has been a big help to us so far," said McEvoy.

"Having won the last two All-Ireland titles, Corofin will believe that they can complete the hat-trick but we will be up for this test. To be playing in Croke Park in an All-Ireland final is a dream come true for me and I'm sure that this applies to the rest of the guys."

And as he prepares to parade his skills out on the pitch, his mother Kathrina will be among Kilcoo's most fervent supporters in the Hogan Stand.

The fanatical backing which the side has been receiving from family members, the local community and well-wishers much further afield has made a big impact on the players and provides another spur for them in their bid for glory.

Kathrina personifies the passion for football in Kilcoo and has certainly done her bit by having served a term as club secretary.

"Football is usually the only topic on the agenda in Kilcoo and you can imagine it has consumed us all lately," she revealed.

"Everyone takes it very seriously and since the team began to sample success several years ago the enthusiasm has just mushroomed to an unbelievable extent. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the team can come up trumps on Sunday although we recognise they will be playing very good opponents."

It seems that just about everyone in the area is offering to lend a hand in the team's preparations for the biggest day in the club's history.

"We are aware of Corofin's record in the All-Ireland Club series and that's what keeps our feet on the ground, although we have faith in our boys," added Kathrina.

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