Monaghan ladies’ football manager Gregory McGonigle made an astute addition to his team during the summer.
Former county Gaelic football manager Séamus McEnaney joined as a selector for the Farney County, as McGonigle – who runs a nightclub in Monaghan town for McEnaney – displayed persistence to get him to come on board.
“I would have tried to get him on board earlier this year around January/February time but he said that he had wanted a full year off after the Meath job ended," McGonigle said. "On July 1 then I rang him and said, ‘As far as I’m aware your 12 months are up!’
“It was good timing, I only started working for him in February, he got to know my character and I got to know his and we got to think that it could work.
“Séamus is a selector, the same as Mickey [Morgan], and I’m manager but as far as I see it the three of us have an equal say.
“He has had a massive influence on the girls and on us as a management team too.”
In Sunday’s All-Ireland senior final, Monaghan come up against Cork, who beat them in the 2011 decider. McGonigle, then in his first year in charge, is to the point when asked what he would have done differently.
“Well we didn’t win, so that would be the first thing!” he laughed.
“Basically it’s up to each to see if she can make a positive contribution, can you make an extra run, can you make an extra pass, can you make an extra block?
“It can come down to a simple thing and you’re always looking for that extra percentage. As a management team, we’ve maybe tried to remove them from the hype, I think they’re a bit more grounded than in 2011.”
Though Cork beat Monaghan at the semi-final stage last year, it was after the Ulster side had beaten the Rebels to claim the league title. McGonigle doesn’t believe that Monaghan lack the mentality to overcome the reigning All-Ireland champions but knows how tough a challenge awaits.
“I think everybody might that psychological block!” he said.
“They’re a great team, you’ve got to them credit, they’re going for eight out of nine All-Ireland wins.
“Since the early days of ladies’ football, the speed and skill has improved an awful lot, to me that just shows how phenomenal Cork are.”