Regardless of how today’s refixed Connacht club final against defending champions Corofin plays out (and I assume it will be played out, given that it’s not pissing rain down there like it has been up here in the capital all day so far), Charlestown’s John Casey already has one bauble for his mantlepiece to celebrate. The popular Sarsfields’ goalkeeper was named Mayo Club Footballer of the Year at the annual bash in the Knockranny Hotel on Friday night, where the county champions also claimed five places (as well as Casey, Aidan Higgins, David Tiernan, Richard Haran and Mark Caffrey all got the nod) on the Mayo Club Team of the Year. Midwest have full details on the team (which includes five subs, so it’s a long list) here.
It’s wonderful to see such a great servant of football within the county being recognised in the this way in the twilight of his career. Back in that ultimately fateful summer of 1996, he was the sort of guy that could give goalkeepers nightmares and so it’s ironic that he has ended up between the sticks himself. It’s wholly appropriate, though, that he’s excelled there and hopefully this evening he and his teammates will have something else to celebrate.
In the meantime, it’s worth recalling what he was once capable of when he operated at the other end of the pitch all those years ago: