It was a great day for club GAA yesterday at Croke Park, and it was an especially great day for winning speeches. After Steelstown won the All-Ireland intermediate title, captain Neil Forrester made an incredible, fiery oration that no one who heard will ever forget.
Earlier in the afternoon, Kilmeena captain Seán Ryder struck a completely different tone, but also managed to capture the magnificence of the achievement.
Kilmeena GAA won the AIB All-Ireland Junior Club Football Championship yesterday after their 0-11 to 1-6 against Gneeveguila in Croke Park.
They became the first Mayo team to win a Junior All-Ireland and captain Ryder delivered a brilliant speech after the game on the steps of the Hogan Stand.
He was in great humour throughout the speech and got it off to a great start after his cúpla focal, saying "that's enough with the Irish now, I knew a few of us struggle enough with English, let alone Irish."
While crediting Gneeveguila on their performance Ryder slipped in an innocent curse, probably to the shock of the elders in the crowd. He said "To Gneeveguilla. Wow, what a battle. There are no words to describe that. Ye are a fantastic team, ye pushed us every single minute and ye fucking deserve a huge round of applause boys. I have no doubt that ye will kill it in the intermediate ranks in Kerry."
Ryder even threw in a shout out to the the Croke Park grounds staff but as good as the hallowed turf is it's "close to St Brendan's back at home, but not quite as good."
A good speech isn't fully complete without a mention of the most important aspect of a squad, the wags, and Ryder wasn't slow in crediting them and the supporters. "To the supporters... and the wags. There's hundreds of ye today. I can hear ye every minute, every second of the game. Ye are massive. Without you we wouldn't have won today boys."
It was a day to remember for all involved at Kilmeena and the speech will also go down as one of our favourite Hogan Stand speeches.
Kilmeena captain's speech after GAA All-Ireland Junior Club Championship final
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) February 6, 2022