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Laverty’s award a boost for Kilcoo’s glory quest

By John Campbell

He may have stepped aside from inter-county action after nine years with Down but Conor Laverty nonetheless continues to make the headlines.

Having garnered six county championship medals in all, including five on the trot since 2012, the Kilcoo clubman has just been handed a further bonus as he focuses on his team’s current progress in the Ulster Club Championship.

Laverty is the latest winner of the Quinn Building Products Ulster GAA Writers’ Association monthly merit award following superb performances in the Down Championship semi-final and final.

Since then, of course, Kilcoo have gone on to terminate the hopes of Scotstown in the preliminary round of the Ulster series and, as his side now set their sights on a confrontation with newly-crowned Donegal champions Glenswilly on Sunday week, Laverty believes a winning mentality will stand to the players.

“Obviously we are very pleased to have overcome Scotstown but we know that we face a very difficult task against a Glenswilly side that were seemingly not rated going into the Donegal final against Kilcar and yet came up trumps,” observes Laverty.

“They have players like Neil Gallagher and Michael Murphy in their line-up and that convinces us we face a real battle.”

Laverty has been a regular in the Down line-up since 2007 but recently stood down from inter-county duties.

As football development officer at Trinity College, Dublin he faces an exhaustive weekly travelling schedule and also has family commitments.

“Travelling to Dublin on a daily basis takes a lot of time and so did the training with Down so I felt it was only right that I should give more time to my family,” explains Laverty.

He continues: “I regard winning the writers’ award as a bonus for the team and not just myself. We were being described as a pale shadow of former Kilcoo teams at the beginning of the year but all the players buckled down and the end result was brilliant — a fifth county title on the trot. We now find ourselves in the position of chasing Burren’s iconic six-in-a-row.”

Laverty’s writers’ award package consists of a Belleek Living Vase, specially designed silver cuff links from Carlingford Design House, training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports and a medical bag from 3FiveTwo on behalf of Kingsbridge Private Hospital. The presentation was made by Quinn Building products sales and marketing director Seamus McMahon.

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