Parlon: It's all about performing on the day

Parlon: It's all about performing on the day

Coolderry forward Cathal Parlon has praised his side's collective work ethic as one of the main reasons why the small Offaly club are contesting their first ever AIB All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling final this St. Patrick's Day.

Coolderry scooped their maiden Leinster title thanks to victory over Wexford's Oulart-the Ballagh at the provincial stage, before taking the scalp of Gort from Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final last time around.

Parlon says that it is his side's team mentality from defence through to players like himself and fellow Offaly senior stars Damien Murray and Brian Carroll in attack, which has helped guide the club to this historic trip to Croke Park.

"I suppose that has been a trademark of our success so far that we would emphasise that it is very much a team game, especially among the forwards," he said.

"I would be a big advocate of what Brian Carroll always says that the man in the best position always gets the ball.

"I have been lucky enough to be in the position to get scores in some of the games, but we know the amount of work that goes in between the six of us and once we can get a win we don't really mind who scores."

Cathal is the son of former Laois-Offaly TD Tom Parlon, who is the current Irish Construction Federation Director General. Cathal is hoping the midlanders can build on their performances to date at GAA headquarters this Saturday.

"It is nice that the players are getting the scope to be seen on the bigger occasions and on TV I suppose," he added.

"There is a lot of talent in the team and it is nice to show it. It's only this year that the country is getting to see it and I suppose that there is no better place to showcase your skills than in Croke Park.

"We will be keeping the head down until St. Patrick's Day and if we can get the win that's the biggest to us."

Parlon has huge respect for final opponents Loughgiel. Indeed, all of the players on view this weekend are chasing their first All-Ireland Club SHC medal.

"It is the biggest stage you can get to (in the club game) and that's what will make it a great final.

"It's not a normal thing, well in recent times at least, for Antrim and Offaly teams to be heading to Croke Park on All-Ireland final day.

"I think that will make it a great final as well and hopefully there will be great support at it from all around."

Parlon was impressed with the steely determination shown by Loughgiel in their All-Ireland semi-final win over Na Piarsaigh which saw them pull through in extra-time.

"They are coming from a very similar situation to ourselves and they have earned it as much as we have and they aren't going to give it up easy.

"They have a lot of players on the Antrim panel as well and there is no point in underestimating them. They have huge work put in, in the last couple of years. They will be big and strong and they are well able to hurl.

"They put up a huge amount of points the last day as well, so we are not going to be underestimating them.

"They have a lot of passion as well and that is probably the big thing about a club game because you are hurling with people you are really close to as well, and families and friends.

"Loughgiel have a small parish as well, so it is going to be very similar. But if we perform on the day we will come home with the goods."

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