Arthur Lynch sees a mirror of himself in the youngsters now looking to forge a career with Fanad United.
Lynch was a central cog in successful Fanad teams under the guidance of Eamonn McConigley and Ollie Horgan, a formidable presence at the heart of the rearguard for what seemed like an age,
Lynch actually made his own Ulster Senior League debut aged 17 in the colours of Drumkeen United – playing against Fanad United.
“That was some experience, having to mark Colm McConigle at the time,” he says now.
“I played for Drumkeen, then was at Milford and back to Whitestrand before I went to Fanad.
“When I signed for Fanad, I went with the attitude of just giving it a go. I see the same in the young lads at Fanad now – they have no fear.
“It never bothered me who I was playing for or playing against.”
Fanad, the record 14 times champions of the Ulster Senior League, are rebuilding under the management of Lynch, who is now in his fourth campaign as manager at Traigh-A-Loch.
“We’re going fine,” Lynch nods on his season so far, ahead of Saturday evening’s meeting with Bonagee United at Dry Arch Park..
“ The team has changed from last year and we have a lot of young fellas in.
“The boys who came we’ve taken through form the youth and they’re all good players. I’m happy with how they’re progressing and they all want to play for the jersey.
“Our youth team have had a lot of success in the last couple of years. Niall Doherty has done a great job.
“It’s great to have young players who are willing to train and willing to play. They didn’t get that much game time last year, but we have three or four now starting every week.
“You have to give boys a chance. I was 17 myself when I got a chance. You have to give young fellas their head and let them make the mistakes.
“They’ve paid us back with attitude and the likes of the experienced men like Caolan Kelly, Oisin Langan and Shaun McElwaine are invaluable for bringing them on.”
During the summer months, Fanad lost last season’s top two goal-scorers in the USL, Tony McNamee and Oisin McMenamin.
Lynch says: “It’s not easy to replace goal-scorers, but we just have to concentrate on the boys that we do have. Keelin McElwaine is as good as anyone and he’s just turned 21. The future is bright for us if we can take another one or two along.”
Lynch manages with the same passion he played the game so successfully.
And he’s in it for the long haul with the ultimate aims very simple.
“The aim is to win every game,” he says. “We go to every game looking to win it. The day you stop doing that, you may take up golf or something. You’ll have good days and bad days, but it’s important to have everyone in the one direction.”
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