Football a way of life for Corofin's culture club
By John Harrington
The thought of playing in an All-Ireland Club Final would be unnerving one for most players, but you get the feeling the Corofin footballers will sleep well on Saturday night.
The experience of having played win two All-Ireland Finals as recently as last year and 2015 obviously helps in that regard, but that’s not the only reason for their big-match poise.
Such is the culture of application and ambition in the Galway club that from a very young age the mentality as well as skill of their footballers is honed to a winning edge.
“I suppose it comes from our underage structure that we have,” says Corofin attacker, Martin Farragher.
“From day one of my career anyway and I'm sure it’s the same for a lot of lads on the team, the likes of Frank Morris and Tom Greaney would have developed the underage.
“That's probably the main reason we're winning and bringing in so many new lads that are up to the standard.
“The GAA is a huge part of the community in Corofin. I suppose from the age of eight or nine you're going around with a football in your hand and that's just the way that things are done in Corofin.”
A haul of six county titles in a row, three Connacht titles, and two All-Ireland titles since 2013 is a hugely impressive feat by Corofin.
And not only do they win, they win with style. The interplay of their forwards is a joy to behold at times, and Farragher is quite often the business end of their best moves.
“When things work well and things are clicking, there’s nothing better than playing for Corofin,” he says.
“You have the players around you like Ian Burke, Gary Sice, these lads can create some moments of magic at times.
“The likes of Gary Sice and Kieran Fitzgerald have been incredible club men for years now, they’d be lads that I would have looked up to when I was younger.
“They’ve been inspirational to me.”
Because Corofin have such an explosive set of forwards, quite often the teams they play in Galway and beyond are set up with containment in mind first and foremost.
But the reason Sunday’s AIB All-Ireland Club Final against Dr. Crokes is such an eagerly anticipated one is because the Kerry and Munster Champions also boast serious firepower and will back themselves to beat Corofin in a shoot-out.
“We’ve played against a load of different teams; teams that like to go at us and teams that like to go out defensively,” said Farragher.
“We’ve come across them teams this year, the teams that play defensively and you just have to adapt to the situation. That’s one learning we took away, having to adapt to games.
“So I suppose the next day, it’s just about adapting in that situation and both teams are going to play free-flowing football.
“The two teams like to move the ball. It’ll be a very interesting game from a neutral perspective.”
Tony Brosnan has been Dr. Crokes’ top-scorer during their run to the All-Ireland Final and Farragher is all too aware of the threat he will pose having played club football with him in the USA.
“In 2015 I went to Boston and I actually played with Tony Brosnan from Crokes out there, he's a serious player,” says Farragher.
“He was very good with me, it was me and him inside in the full-forward line out in Boston and was a very good player.
“The fact that Gooch is just a sub as well, it just shows how incredible they are.”
When Farragher scored six points for Corofin in last year’s All-Ireland Club Final victory over Nemo you would have expected him to be showing what he could do in a Galway jersey in the not too distant future.
But despite his obvious talent, he has yet to make the impact at the highest level many think he is capable of.
"I suppose I was in there a few years ago but it didn't really work out for me personally,” said Farragher.
“Hopefully in the future I might get a call-up or I might get a chance. But we'll see how things pan out.
“At the moment, I'm concentrated fully on Corofin. These opportunities don't come around too often so I'm focused fully on this at the moment.”