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Foley adds junior B to European Cup medal

Prior to heading for Thomond Park and Munster’s Magners League game against Ulster, Anthony Foley (pictured) added a junior B Clare football championship medal to his 2006 European Cup medal and his 62 international caps.
Saturday’s throw-in was a bit on the early side for most junior B footballers but once Smith O’Brien’s and St Breckan’s got their heads around the 12.30pm start, they produced a competitive if not awe inspiring hour of football at the Éire Óg grounds in Ennis.
Foley lined out in his regular full-forward spot for the Killaloe men and, staying loyal to 125-year tradition of junior number 14s, he did most of his work inside a maximum five yard area.
“It’s grand, you don’t have to move that far,” Foley said of his role on the edge of the square.
Perhaps Smith O’Brien’s manager Paul McCarthy told his full-forward that he didn’t have to kill himself tracking back or making runs to create space for his attacking colleagues.
If that’s what he was advised to do, Foley definitely listened.
“It wasn’t my designated role. I had to keep the full-back in around the square,” was his defence when it was suggested to Foley that he could have tracked back once or twice, when St Breckan’s attacked from their own full-back line.
Now part of Tony McGahan’s back room team with Munster, the 2006 European Cup winning captain says that he genuinely enjoyed playing with his local GAA club throughout 2009.
“I like playing junior B football. No training, just turn up and play matches. It’s ideal. We’d a massive turn out today. Nobody was missing the final. Through the group stages, the quarter-final and the semi-final, the squad has been building. It was good fun, I have to say,” he told The Clare Champion. 
Smith O’Brien’s won by 10 points, which was a slightly unbalanced scoreline given that they only led by three points, five minutes from full-time.
“I think the scoreline flattered us at the end. We got a couple of late goals. We struggled to get past Kilmurry Ibrickane down in Quilty but it was a good campaign for us, particularly after losing in a replay last year,” the big full-forward said, before heading for Thomond Park carrying wondrous tales of how he won his junior B championship medal.

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