THERE’S no place like home, says Donnacha McCarthy.
After living in London for several years, he moved back home to Bawnfune, Leap last year and 12 months later he’s getting ready to line out in his first West Cork JAFC final.
‘The aim was always to come home and play with the club again. Seven years was a long time to be away,’ said McCarthy, who made an impression on the London GAA scene during his time there.
In 2013 and ’14 he lined out for the London senior footballers in league and championship, and he has an impressive collection of medals from his spell with Kerry Kingdom Gaels – but what he doesn’t have, or anyone in Kilmacabea GAA, is a South West JAFC winner’s medal.
The Kilmac forward wants to change that on Sunday.
‘This will be my first junior A final. When the lads played two years ago against Bandon I was playing in London.
‘I missed the game itself, I was playing championship the same day in London, I actually flew home that evening and caught up with the lads. It wasn’t the result they wanted but the lads have the experience of that to call on this Sunday,’ said McCarthy, who added that the competition for places is intense.
‘Winning the South West U21 B was huge this year, a lot of those players are trying to break into the junior A team and that’s brilliant to see, it keeps everyone on their toes.’
He added: ‘We’re a well-oiled machine at this stage, I’m delighted to be able to help out any way I can. We’re a bit like Mayo at this stage, we’re there or thereabouts and we need to get over the line now.
‘We’re playing good football this year. There are a few spells in games where we are not in control so we need to iron them out.’
A former inter-county footballer who also played with Carbery, McCarthy hopes his own experiences can help this Sunday against Kilbrittain, and if Kilmacabea end their famine then the move home will have been all the sweeter.