By Randal Scally
The man who captained Offaly to their first and only All-Ireland U21 football success in 1988 is hoping either Cathal Donoghue or Kieran Dolan will emulate him by lifting the Tim Clarke Cup in Croke Park next Sunday.
Despite living in Mullingar since 1990, Rahan native Garrett O’Brien continues to follow Offaly’s GAA fortunes closely and has taken great pride and satisfaction from the Faithful County’s run to this year’s All-Ireland U20 football final.
Garrett skippered Offaly from full back to a 0-11 to 0-9 All-Ireland U21 final victory over Cavan in 1988 after a marathon campaign that saw the tricolours play ten games, three of which went to extra-time.
“On behalf of the 1988 team, I would say that 33 years is too long and that it would be an honour to pass the baton to this year’s team who have thrilled and delighted us with their performances,” he says.
“While the players mightn’t be mixing with supporters as much due to Covid, I’m sure they’re seeing plenty of stuff about the game on social media, which was something we didn’t have to contend with. My advice would be to stay off social media for the next few days and focus on the task in hand. They will have to be ready to go to war.
“They’ve done brilliantly to get this far and hopefully they’ll be able to come out of the All-Ireland final with no regrets because these opportunities don’t come along very often.”