ONE of the greatest gaelic footballers of modern times Oisin McConville announced his retirement from club football last weekend and brought the curtain down on a glittering career.
The Crossmaglen Rangers player had stepped down from County football a number of years ago with the pinnacle of his career coming in the County’s All-Ireland victory over Kerry in 2002. McConville in his 20 years playing for both club and county always performed under pressure and on the big occasions, having missed a penalty in the All-Ireland Final of 2002, he bagged a crucial second half goal to set the Ulster men up for an historic victory.
Speaking after the All-Ireland win he said, “The first thing that came into my head was that Bill McCorry had missed a penalty in the 1953 final. I thought is history going to repeat its self. Thankfully I had enough time to regain my composure and we hung on for a great victory.”
McConville, who has strong views on the GAA and on the game itself, once described Clan Na Gael’s Daurmaud Marsden as the best player he ever played with. In fact McConville’s 2-07 which he registered in the 1999 Ulster Final win against Down was attributed to the Clans man by McConville who said after the game. ”It was easy for me out there, Daurmaud set most of them on a plate for me. I had the privilege of being on the end of his great passing.
Oisin McConville has a medal total which is unrivalled in club football, his exploits with Crossmaglen over a 20 year period are staggering and his swashbuckling and confident mannerism on the field of play saw him rise to heights and challenges unattainable to most gaelic footballers. Now that he has retired he can be spoken off in the same breath as all time greats like Jack O’Shea, Peter Canavan, Anthony Tohill and players such as Mickey Sheehy and Mickey Linden.
McConville’s brilliance will be missed by his club who will attempt to once again climb to the heights reached by one of the games greatest players.