• GAA

Carr has the drive for club title

Wednesday, 23rd February, 2011 5:00pm

Story by Jimmy Geoghegan
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Carr has the drive for club title

Paddy Carr will have a short journey to the All-Ireland club SFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday where his Kilmacud Crokes team will tackle Crossmaglen Rangers.

Kilmacud Crokes manager Paddy Carr is hoping Sunday's All-Ireland Club SFC semi-final between his team and Crossmaglen Rangers will be one of his more memorable days at the venue.

Carr played at the Brew Hill ground many times for Walterstown helping the Blacks win Meath SFC titles there.

However, he also endured his share of disappointments and none more so than when he was denied a famous victory as Louth manager when Graham Geraghty scored a dramatic last-gasp goal in a 2002 All-Ireland qualifier encounter.

"I had some bad days at Pairc Tailteann, but I also had some great days in the Walterstown club jersey and I would love to be able to help Kilmacud Crokes win an All-Ireland semi-final there," Carr told the Meath Chronicle.

"I played all my under-age football with Kilmacud as a child before I came to Walterstown and it would be very special to bring the Crokes to Pairc Tailteann and have a memorable day."

Carr has established himself as a very capable manager with the Dublin side leading them to two county and provincial SFC titles as well as an All-Ireland SFC crown in 2009.

On that occasion Kilmacud ambushed four-time All-Ireland winners Crossmaglen Rangers in the final and a similar victory would be another big plus on his already impressive CV.

The Armagh side have established themselves as one of the top club sides in the country in recent times with a remarkable 13 successive Armagh SFC crowns among their lengthy list of honours.

Having endured two All-Ireland Club SFC final defeats with Walterstown in 1981 (although he missed the final that year) and 1984 when they lost to Cork teams St Finbarr's and Nemo Rangers respectively, Carr is well aware of the requirements needed to succeed at club level on the national stage.

He knows that if Kilmacud win on Sunday they could met Nemo Rangers in the final although he stresses he is not looking beyond Crossmaglen.

Injuries have deprived Kilmacud Crokes of a some well-known players who turned out in the 2009 final, but who will be absent on Sunday - the quartet of Paul Griffin, Darren Magee, Mark Davoren and Niall Corkery while Rory O'Carroll is also extremely doubtful for the game.

Carr has introduced a number of young players into the team such as Pat Duggan, Cian O'Sullivan and Brian Kavanagh and so far they have reached the standard required.

"Some of the young lads who have come through have really taken up the mantle and it's very, very pleasing to see that. We wouldn't have the level of experience that Crossmaglen have yet we have come through a fairly intense Leinster campaign and the attitude of the young lads has been first class."

That Leinster run culminated in a victory over Rhode, who beat Skryne in the semi-final, in the decider at Portlaoise.

Now the focus turns to Pairc Tailteann and Carr is hoping Sunday will be one of his better days at the old stadium that some locals still refer to as the 'Showgrounds.'

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