It’s his first year on the Kildysart intermediate panel but Emmet McMahon is well aware of the heartbreak suffered by the club on big days.
Saturday will be their third time appearing in the intermediate decider since 2016, they have lost out to both Kilmihil and Kilrush Shamrocks with both sides holding their senior status following their promotion.
“There isn’t really pressure as such, it’s a game at the end of the day. We’re going out to win it. We’ve been very close, there’s a lot of pain inside us and hopefully we will set it free on Saturday,” McMahon said to The Clare Echo ahead of their showdown with St Breckans.
Aged eighteen, he was two years old when the club last won the intermediate championship in 2003. Emmet has been part of what he called “a really good underage system” in Kildysart. “This year two lads came up and last year there was three so it’s nice to have a bit of a conveyor belt. There has been a couple of lads retiring so we need to be replacing them, it makes more of a contest in training when people are pushing for places, the standard increases and then the intensity rises”.
Kildysart won four Minor C titles in a row from 2015 to 2018, he was involved in each win and is hopeful intermediate glory will reward all the volunteers within the club. “The amount of times we’ve been out on wet, rainy nights and they’ve all the cones and balls set out for us, we wouldn’t be contesting the intermediate if it wasn’t for them. Hopefully we can repay the work from the last three to five years by getting back to senior”.
“To win would be brilliant for me and my club. I know I wasn’t part of the team but they’ve struggled to get up to senior in the last couple of years, all that suffering from 2016 and last year it would be brilliant for myself and my family to get the result but most importantly the club and the parish”.
A midfielder with the Clare minors last year that reached a Munster Final, there has been no stopping McMahon in his debut with the intermediates scoring 0-05 in their quarter-final win over Kilfenora and bagging a goal in the last four victory over Shannon Gaels. “I wouldn’t be getting any of these points if there wasn’t lads around me. No one remembers who won a quarter-final or a semi-final, it’s all down to the big day”.
His role at full forward also sees him roam around midfield for the second half in close proximity to his brother Rory at wing back. Emmet’s exploits have resulted in him getting called up by Colm Collins to the county senior training panel. “I can’t wait for that to get started, it will be a great achievement and hopefully I’ll be able to impress the lads at training”. So far he is on a strength and conditioning programme plus a diet plan. “It will be an unbelievable experience, I’ve been in the stands the last couple of years looking at them like celebrities so it will be grand to see them face to face and train with them, it will be a good experience to train with them and that intensity will be very high. It will be a big step up but hopefully I’ll be able to fit in”.
Club commitments have restricted his involvement with the UL Freshers Team, he is studying to become a PE and Maths teacher. The college nights out that have been sacrificed due to Kildysart’s run will have been worth the miss if they win on Saturday, he said. “You’d be sitting there on a Monday night and you see fellas going out. If you were to lift a trophy after it all, you’d know all those nights you stayed in for would be worth it and that’s the aim at the moment”.
Noel Garry’s charges are looking forward to playing in Cusack Park, for Emmet McMahon he’s hoping his first intermediate final will be one to savour.