Bill O'Kelly-Lynch on Naomh Eoin’s “20 years in the making”

Back 29/10/2021 @ 20:45 | mainnews | Bill O'Kelly-Lynch on Naomh Eoin’s “20 years in the making”

By Alanna Cunnane

A Naomh Eoin stalwart since its inception, Bill O'Kelly-Lynch has worked tirelessly in the underage set up of the club over the years and now finds himself as club secretary watching four of his five sons prepare for a senior final.

Having coached many of the team up through the underage ranks they’ve come a long way since Saturday morning nursery training in Kent Park.

They would have started at five or six years old 20 years ago so it’s great to see them now showing the skill they have as opposed to what they were like as young lads” he says. “That’s what coaching is about.”

The early years were often led by those who had “arrived into the town from elsewhere” and although they formed a strong unit, the flourishing of the talents in the area really came when the boys turned to men.

At a point before these young lads came through we were barely fielding, but the team now is basically all our own home grown talent, which makes such a difference” says O'Kelly-Lynch.

With four of those locals coming from his own household - Gerard, Tony, Fergal and Liam (with 16-year-old Robert waiting in the wings), he has decided to take a step back from the management and selection.

It’s good to see and one of the reasons I don’t get involved with management now is there’s too many of them on the team, so to be fair to them and to everyone else I haven’t.

I just do the secretarial duties now, the team sheets and sub sheets!” he laughs.

No favouritism on show though, what is evident is his love for the club as he aspires to see everyone involved “equally put in a team performance.”

No easy task as they bid for the second senior hurling title in their history this Sunday against Easkey/St Farnan’s, O'Kelly-Lynch can’t see any team dominating but admits it “would be nice to have a second one under our belts.

 “We weren’t particular successful when many of the lads playing on Sunday were underage but they kept at it because they like the game.”

“That’s the enjoyment for me that these lads are still enjoying the game, playing at adult level and with Easkey there has only been a puck of the ball between them in the last two finals. Sunday will be the same.”

Naomh Eoin take on Easkey in the Senior Hurling Championship Final this Sunday at 3pm in Markievicz Park.