5 weeks in the past, the title of All-Eire successful captain sounded “actually surreal” to Matthew Downey, however now the Derry minor champion admitted that “it’s type of nearly settled in”.
Downey’s father Henry was a part of Derry’s All-Eire senior successful group in 1993, however Matthew famous that “he didn’t play any Derry minors in any respect, in order that’s one I’ve on him”.
The 18-year-old scored the successful penalty for his facet proper on the finish of their Tullamore thriller in opposition to Kerry in Sunday’s All-Eire Minor soccer last, to clinch a one-point victory.
However the Lavey ahead didn’t really feel the complete results of his purpose till the ultimate whistle blew to sign a 2-12 to 1-14 win for the Oak Leafers.
“On the time I used to be out on my ft, I nearly made it off the pitch and needed to reset myself once more,” Downey instructed BBC Radio Ulster’s Sportsound Additional Time.
“I hit a penalty in opposition to Tyrone and truly the goalie dived that facet. I had deliberate to go that facet, however I believed he regarded a bit assured in himself so I believed I’ll have to alter it up, so I went down the center.
“Mark Doherty was shouting at me to get again out and observe and I ended up on the different purpose line about 10 seconds later, so there was no actual feeling of pleasure at that stage.
“[When the whistle blew], that was one of many proudest moments of my life and the proudest second of everybody’s lives right here.”
“Our supervisor Martin (Boyle) stated a few weeks in the past that we’re a membership group now. We’ve been collectively for 20 months. You’re not with a minor inter-county group for 20 months.
“The following step is to get to Derry U20s and hold pushing on. Derry seniors did fairly effectively in opposition to Donegal, they had been unlucky. However the future seems to be brilliant for Derry.”
Fourth time fortunate
Having been delayed thrice beforehand, the Derry group – who’ve performed collectively since U15s – feared their 2020 championship may need been cancelled altogether.
However Derry boss Boyle famous that the uncertainty could have spurred the squad on extra.
“We had been acutely aware that this won’t even occur, we thought we’d have to tug coaching again a bit, however you don’t pull coaching again from these boys, they only go on forward,” he stated.
“The boys landed after we first met them in October 2019 as younger lads, schoolboys that had been nervous and now they’re driving to coaching with beards and girlfriends and all the remainder!” laughed Boyle.
“It feels in lots of ways in which you’ve adopted them for 18 months, but it surely’s nice.
“There’s an actual magical feeling and belief and honesty amongst the group. They’re sensible younger fellas, and nice ambassadors for his or her households, their golf equipment and their county now as effectively.
“They’ve introduced the feel-good issue again to Derry soccer, together with the progress the seniors have made as effectively. So there’s good instances forward for Derry hopefully.”
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