At twenty-five he could be classed as old, such is the youthfulness of Paddy Clarke’s Dreadnots side. But speaking afterwards as St Patrick’s celebrated their second title in a row, full back Brian Gargan was able to look beyond the heartbreak of losing a senior final and send out a clear message to the rest of Louth – The Dreadnots will be back.
“We’re a young team and no doubt about it we’re going to bounce back,” stated Gargan. “The future is bright. That’s going to hurt us losing that game. But in the end it’s going to make us more determined to bounce back. We know we can do it and we know we have it in us to do it.”
Gargan also revealed the strong mentality his side has, which should serve them well over the next few crucial months as they prepare for another shot at Joe next year.
“The beauty of it is that we have a young team and there was no fear in us and we’ll have no fear this time next year either.”
Assessing the performance on Sunday, the Dreadnots full back was full of praise for the manner in which his team conducted themselves. But Gargan knows his side still have much to learn.
“I can’t fault any of the lads. From one to twenty they tried their hardest and I can tell you with my heart and soul that they put everything into the game.
“I suppose the experience told in the end for the Pat’s and that’s what they had over us.”
As underdogs you’ve got to take your chances on the big day and several chances went agonisingly a begging for the Clogherhead men.
“We had plenty of chances. We’d chances in the first half and again the second half. If we had taken even one of those goal chances it would have been a far closer game. We didn’t take them and if you don’t do that you’re going to be killed off in the end.
“We’ll have to be more clinical in future and make it a closer game.”
Despite the fighting talk for the future, Gargan was still gutted to have lost at the last hurdle.
“We knew it was going to be hard. We knew what we were up against but it’s still heartbreaking to come away without it.
With many cold winter months ahead before they can start again on the road to another senior final next year, the message was plain and simple - the team will prevail.
“We need to stick together,” explained Gargan. “We’ve lads there who’ll fight for each other. Looking at what the Pat’s have, it’s purely down to experience. They were in our position once or twice before in finals and they learned from them just like we will.
“Hopefully this time next year we’ll be back in this position and we won’t make the same mistakes we made this year.”