Key Clashes for Fitzmaurice and Mcgrath
Two former UCC players are taking the managerial world by storm this summer as the GAA football and hurling championships head for the last 4.
This Sunday, Waterford take on the might of Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park. Derek McGraths side have performed very consistently so far this year as they won the League title and narrowly lost out to Tipperary in the Munster final. They got their season firmly back on track with a quarter-final victory over Dublin 2 weeks ago. McGrath, who won a Fitzgibbon Cup with UCC as an Arts student in 1997 has transformed Waterford this year with an infusion of talented young players into a side who struggled last year. The Waterford side has a number of UCC players including Shane Roche (Commerce),Padraig Prendergast (Arts), Tadgh Burke (Arts), Jamie Barron (Arts), DJ Foran (Arts), Tom Devine (Medicine), Mark O’Brien (Arts) and Patrick Curran (Commerce). Alumni Shane O’Sullivan, Barry Coughlan, Philip Mahony, Pauric Mahony and Kevin Moran all wore the skull and crossbones with distinction in the past.
Later in the month, Kerry will find themselves in familiar territory as they battle either Monaghan or Tyrone in the All-Ireland football semi-final. The team full of UCC students past and present is managed by Eammon Fitzmaurice, who won a freshers all-Ireland (1996) as well as a Cork County Championship and Munster Club medal with the college in 1999. The Arts and H Dip graduate took Kerry to Sam Maguire glory last season when many thought he over-achieved with a new-look team. Kerry now look the team to beat in this years championship after a vintage display against Kildare in the quarter-final.
Both men are teachers and have made a major impact on the game as managers before they have reached their 40th birthdays.
Good luck to the two of them for the rest of the season.
Our cover photo features Eammon seated second from the left and the picture below features Derek seated third from the left.
Graduates and former players are Anthony Nash, Shane O’Neill, Dan Kearney, William Kearney,Darren McCarthy, Seamus Harnedy, Brian Lawton, Pa Cronin, Stephen Moylan, Luke O’Farrell, Jamie Coughlan (Cork) while Waterford provide