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Jack a dual star for Ballyhaunis

Sport

A MAN IN A HURRY Jack Coyne is pictured in action for the Ballyhaunis footballers against Louisburgh in the Mayo Intermediate championship semi-final last Sunday. Pic: Michael Donnelly

Ballyhaunis dual player Jack Coyne is a busy man these days

Feature
Michael Gallagher

DEEP under the Hogan Stand in the minutes after Mayo’s All-Ireland defeat at the hands of Tyrone back in September, Jack Coyne’s name rang out. A hugely disappointed James Horan was already thinking of the future and the Ballyhaunis man’s name was one of the first to escape his lips.
On Sunday last, Horan and his sidekick Ciaran McDonald were in Castlebar as Coyne helped Ballyhaunis battle their way into the County Intermediate football final. Who the Mayo duo had their eyes on was anybody’s guess, but the corner-back’s performance will certainly have given them food for thought.
After the match, Coyne wore a beaming smile and the sense of satisfaction was clearly evident, but the dual player was already looking ahead to next Saturday’s County Senior Hurling Final against Tooreen.
“It’s not many clubs in the country who have two county finals to look forward to, but that’s where we are now,” the University of Limerick student told The Mayo News.
“We didn’t even think about the hurling until this game was over, but now we have two busy weeks ahead, but we’re kinda used to flicking back and forth between football and hurling all the time.
“The most important thing is the huge bond between the players,” continued Coyne, who also captained the Mayo Under-20 footballers last year. “There are so many of us who play both football and hurling and there’s a great working relationship between both sets of management too because if they didn’t work together we’d get nowhere.
“There’s a sense of trust between us all. When we’re hurling we’re hurling, and the other lads are doing a bit of football on the side, and vice-versa when we’re playing football.
“I’m really looking forward to next Saturday now and to have the football the following week makes it even better,” he added before being asked if he ever wishes he had a less hectic sporting schedule and was either a footballer or a hurler, full stop!
“There are times when you think it would be handier just to have one to concentrate on, but to be honest I think it adds to our game. A lot of the skills are very transferable between the two games and you could even see today, our first touch was very good.”
Earlier that morning, Keith Higgins drove how important last Sunday’s Intermediate semi-final clash with Louisburgh was into Coyne and his young comrades.
“Keith told us he has been playing 18 years and had only played in two football finals so we were taking absolutely nothing for granted. We know how good this is and we know how hard we’ve worked to get here, so we’ll be looking to be the best we can be over the next two weekends.
“Yeah, we realise how lucky we are. Almost every year we’re in the hurling final and I’ve only been playing football three years and this will be my second county final, but not everyone is as lucky,” he added before casting his mind back to the battle just won against a dogged Louisburgh outfit.
“That was some battle. They got the goal before half-time and got back into it, but we have great belief in ourselves and our style of play. We’re a running team and you cold see there in the second half the amount of chances we created by running the ball.
“I know it’s a cliché but we stuck to the process and it worked for us in the end.
“We missed a lot of chances today and when we play Mayo Gaels in two weeks’ time we can’t be as wasteful,” he continued. “Gaels are an unbelievable team and we saw what they did to Kilmaine yesterday, so we’ll just go back to training and work on getting things right and see where we are when that game comes around.”
The fact that Jack Coyne lives with Mayo Gaels’ attacker James Jennings in Limerick — where they are both studying — will make for some interesting conversations over the next few days.
“He’s a great lad and we’ll both enjoy the craic, but there mightn’t be a lot of football talk for the next while,” smiled Coyne.

FACTFILE
Name: Jack Coyne
Club: Ballyhaunis
Age: 21
Occupation: Student at UL
Did you know? Jack made his senior championship debut for Mayo against Leitrim in the Connacht SFC earlier this year.

 

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