"That kid's from my neighbourhood, I can be out there." - New York captain gives powerful interview after Sligo loss
New York died but they died with their boots on.
And after one of the frights of their life, after a game where very little went for them, you can take it as a fact that the whole of Sligo were counting their lucky blessings this morning.
To their credit, they came out of this dog-fight alive and with their Championship hopes still in tact but only just and only after the unenviable experience of watching their whole life flash before their eyes. Tony McEntee was one relieved man at the final whistle.
New York were devastated and while they're sick of moral victories at this stage, having taken Roscommon to a point in 2016, having run Leitrim to extra-time in 2017, they'll surely take consolation it the fact that it feels a little bit different this time around.
It feels a little different because, of the 41 players on their panel, almost half of them now have American accents. Many of those lads are only 21, 22 years of age and with a culture, an interest and a sense of pride growing among native Americans in the GAA, you'd have to think that there are good things coming down the line.
It can't have helped Johnny McGeeney's team that, before this clash, they hadn't played a competitive game in more than two years but with the natives standing up, with Galway's Johnny Glynn clawing kick-outs for sport and with his county-man Adrian Varley showing his class, they looked far from rusty here.
Their corner back and skipper Jamie Boyle is one of the locals and after their 1-16 to 0-15 defeat, he told Darren Frehill about their motivation and their aims.
"Not one man quit out there today. We said since day one in camp here when we started on this field that we're going to die on every ball."
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) April 17, 2022
"Even the people in New York, not to say they're not supportive but there's a lot of doubts here. There's a lot of people saying we don't have a chance. We heard that before we got into the camp and then once we got here, we blocked out all the noise.
"It's nice to hopefully turn the tide around here in New York. This is definitely the start of something. Management and Johnny McGeeney are building something great here for years to come.
"It's nice when the young New York kids in the stands come to the game and see familiar faces. They see the Mikey Brosnans, the Shane Brosnans, the Peter Cronins out on the field and they can cheer for them and say 'hey, that kid's from my neighbourhood, I can be out there.' It's huge."
Crossmaglen native McEntee, meanwhile, was very honest in his post-match reflections.
'Im relieved - New York had three or four chances there and if any of them had gone in we'd have under serious pressure'
Tony McEntee @sligogaa spoke to @Darrenfrehill after today's Connacht SFC meeting in New York #RTEGAA pic.twitter.com/YyuSBSNZLX
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) April 17, 2022