McCONVILLE CALLS IT A DAY
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
ONE of the greatest players to ever play gaelic football, Oisin McConville, has called time on his playing career and revealed that the only senior teams he would like to manage are Crossmaglen and Armagh - but not this year.
The 37-year-old has been an inspiration on and off the pitch, playing a vital part in all six of Crossmaglen Rangers' All-Ireland victories as well as scoring the goal that won Armagh their only Sam Maguire Cup in 2002.
In his Democrat column this week, Oisin fondly remembers the 2-07 he scored against Down in the 1999 Ulster Final, winning Crossmaglen's first All-Ireland title in 1997 and captaining his beloved Rangers to the All-Ireland crown in 2007.
Having begged his underage mentor Tim Gregory for a game as a child, little did Oisin know he would become a footballing icon and play for another three decades.
Down star Benny Coulter describes McConville as the greatest club player in history.
He wrote in his Democrat column: "I have admired Oisin McConville since I was a young lad, but when he scored 2-07 against Down in the Ulster Final in 1999 I was in awe of his talent and his confidence on the pitch.
“He has done so much in his long career that superlatives could not describe and he will be a huge loss to the magnificent Crossmaglen Rangers."
As a football fan and a journalist it has been a pleasure to follow the exploits of one of the greatest ever players. He played with panache, style and conviction and when Rangers, or indeed Armagh needed a last-gasp score, more often than not McConville was there to deliver.
And as much as he was blessed with bags of footballing talent, he developed a magnificent footballing brain and will make an excellent manager - something he is keen to explore.
Oisin told the Democrat: "I really enjoy the coaching aspect while I am coaching at college scene with Dundalk IT at the minute, I hope to work towards managing Crossmaglen some day.
“I hope eventually I will get the chance to manage Cross. I am down the pecking order but hopefully some time, although I would like Tony and Gareth to stay on as managers."
Having won an All-Ireland with Armagh, six All-Ireland titles, 10 Ulster Championship titles and 16 County Championships with Crossmaglen Rangers, McConville has done it all.
He has been a genius on the pitch, a player to marvel and while he insists that "there are plenty of players who are as good, if not better than me coming through" the Rangers' ranks, there is only one Oisin McConville.
A true footballing legend.
SEE PAGE 55 FOR OISIN COLUMN
Send to a friend
Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.