On Saturday afternoon in Croke Park, two greats of Gaelic football will meet on the field once again. Gary Sice and Tomás Ó Sé have helped their clubs to the final, as Corofin and Nemo Rangers battle it out to be crowned the best club team in the country.
The Kerry native put in a huge shift as Nemo saw off Slaughtneil after extra-time to book their place in the decider, and at 39, he is looking as effective as ever. Speaking ahead of the tie, Sice revealed he was marked by Ó Sé on the park before, and knows he is facing a huge task.
“I had the misfortune as a young lad of coming across him down in Tralee. Nothing pleasurable about it, I can tell you.
“It’s a while back now. 2008 or 2009. We had lost to St Gaul’s on a Saturday night and the following Sunday we were playing Kerry in Tralee, I think it was. It was an experience in itself. Some footballer.”
“It was a long 70 minutes. An experience, no doubt about it. Some footballer. Someone I’ve admired for a long time from a distance. I think everyone in the country has to admire him, he’s such a footballer. There will no more admiration come Paddy’s Day! Hopefully, we can quieten him a small bit.”
The experience some of the elder statesmen possess can be a huge asset.
“Someone like Tomás Ó Sé, even Fitzy [Kieran Fitzgerald] with us. Their self-discipline is phenomenal. To mind themselves and motivate themselves and keep playing. There’s a serious desire there and it’s extremely admirable, I think, in both their cases. They’re a serious flag for anybody who thinks that 33,34,35 is the end of a career – it’s far from it, I think.
“They’re more dangerous on the field as far as I’m concerned because their experience is phenomenal and they know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. If they can still get around and do it, that makes them extremely influential in any game, especially when you get to Croke Park and big spaces. That’s going to make them vital to any team.”
The Galway club are gunning for another title, but come up against a Nemo side running high on momentum, after shocking Dr Crokes and Slaughtneil.
Sice and Corofin are under no illusions as to the scale of the task ahead.
“They won’t fear us at all. They’ve come through the hard side; they’ve beaten Crokes, beaten Slaughtneil. So, we’re very aware of the challenge ahead of us.
“They’re not in the business of looking over the wall at anybody else. Their wall is the one to be looking over. They’ve the most All-Irelands and they operate like that. They’re a very good footballing side and they’re an example for any club in Ireland of how to do things. They keep coming back. That tells you where they’re at. They’re a superpower in the club game.”
Corofin’s Gary Sice was speaking ahead of the AIB GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Club Championship final taking place at Croke Park on Saturday 17th of March where the Galway club will face Cork’s Nemo Rangers.
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