Slaughtneil success can inspire other clubs not from traditional hurling strongholds says McKaigue

Chrissy McKaigue
McKaigue has been a key figure in Slaughtneil's success in both football and hurling

Slaughtneil captain Chrissy McKaigue hopes his side's success can inspire clubs from counties not considered to be traditional hurling strongholds.

McKaigue and clubmate Brendan Rodgers were named in the GAA Club Players' Awards team of the year after helping their side to the All-Ireland semi-finals.

The dual-code star received the same honour for football in 2018.

"When you look through the team it's a prestigious line-up," said McKaigue.

Slaughtneil are enjoying a sustained period of success across three codes, with their camogs narrowly edged out by Sarsfields in Sunday's All-Ireland final.

The hurlers were defeated by Kilkenny's Ballyhale Shamrocks, who went on to retain their national title having overcome Slaughtneil in an epic semi-final.

Ballyhale and defeated finalists Borris-Ileigh, from Tipperary, both have five representatives in the team of the year.

"Just because TJ Reid or Brendan Maher is born in the county they are from I suppose does give them an extra advantage over the likes of someone who's from a Derry hurling club," reflected McKaigue.

"Just because you're from a certain area, whether you're from a traditional stronghold in hurling or football it shouldn't define what you are able to do and what type of mark you are able to leave on the game.

"Hopefully it provides a bit of inspiration for other counties and club that aren't from traditional strongholds, that they can go and rub shoulders with the best."

Slaughtneil success requires some perspective

On Sunday Slaughtneil's camogs fell short of a fourth straight All-Ireland title as a late goal helped Galway's Sarsfields claim a one-point victory.

While the Derry club has won three Ulster titles in both hurling and football in the last six year, they are yet to claim All-Ireland glory in either code.

"The monster we've created with Slaughtneil is that only the best will do," said McKaigue.

"Maybe because Slaughtneil have won so much we became almost dismissive of all the different things we have achieved.

Slaughtneil were denied a fourth consecutive All-Ireland camogie title on Sunday

"We have been through a lot of barren years, sometimes a bit of perspective is important too.

"We are doing a lot of things right in the club and I don't think you can say any year because you don't win an All Ireland title is a failure.

"I think if we ever do get over the line in an All Ireland in any of the three codes, that is won't define our year.

"What defines our year is how we go about our business as a club."

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