It was close to 5am on Sunday when Maxi Curran’s head hit the pillow as he put the final touches on his preparatory work at St Eunan’s.
Twelve-and-a-bit hours later all that graft paid off as Curran was gripping the Dr Maguire Cup with St Eunan’s having claimed a record-equalling 14th county senior title thanks to a 0-9 to 0-6 win over Glenswilly.
“I was doing the finishing touches to the video analysis and the presentation,” Curran said afterwards. “Those are hours that nobody sees. I’m sure Gary McDaid is the same.
“It’s part of football nowadays and I know it’s a cliché to say that you leave no stone unturned but that’s the way it is. As a coach that’s probably my strength.
It’s the children at home that lose out. My own wee fella Kristian is six years old and I’d be heading away to training and he’d he saying ‘don’t be going, stay home and play with me’ and that’s like a dagger through your heart.
“Winning the championship is the only thing that can make that in any way worthwhile.”
With his concoction of youth and experience, Curran’s team were very well drilled and used possession wisely against last year’s Ulster finalists.
“We have been faced with that system all year and it’s just the way Donegal football has gone,”Curran added.
You just have to try to break it down. You will have to beat the likes of Glenswilly, St Michael’s or Naomh Conaill at some stage.
“They are very well organised, but we have very good footballers in that side too. They are really intelligent footballers and do the right thing.”
Plenty of folk didn’t fancy St Eunan’s yesterday, just like they might’ve have taken a punt on them at the start of the championship.
“But with a huge turnover of players in the last year or two, that adage about ‘the more things change the more they stay the same’ sprung to mind.
“Nobody gave them a chance at the start of the year,” Curran continued.
“They were ‘too young’, ‘in transition’, this and that. I always believed and I always knew the talent that was in the group. I believed that they could do it - thank God they have.
“There was a massive amount of players who all left at the one time and they all had to be replaced.
“Yes, we have a lot of young fellas, but we had to do that. People felt that we were weakened as a result.”