Interview with First Team Manager "Dave Crimmins"

1. When did you join Athenry FC?
- I first started playing at underage but the games were few and far between until U18. There was a league structure at that age but we were doing well to field an 11. Needless to say we didn't have much success but we were just happy to play games. Players like Martin Morrissey, Nev Hynes Cormac Mc, Frank Flannery and James Kelly from Craughwell were the back bone of that team.
From there I went playing with the snr team in 1989 and spent what was like an eternity in division 2. Thankfully we eventually got out and got to play in the Premier League for a few years before eventually retiring after losing to Westport Utd in the Connaught snr cup in 2009 or 2010. That was my last game.
- I got on board for 2011 as part Gabriel Galvin backroom team and again after Seamie Crowe rang me during the summer of 2014 I got back involved for 2 years.
Then when Seamie stepped away in early 2018 Pete and Tommy asked would I take on managing the team until the end of the season,so I did and am there still now.

2. Who was the biggest influence on you?
- When I broke into the first team I was blessed to be playing with players like Pete, Tommy & Mike "my man didn't score" Morrissey. Timmy Holian his brother Francis and Mike Dunleavy were all excellent footballers too but if I was to pick one it would be Gabriel Glavin, back in my younger days I played as a striker and I would have learned a lot from him.
- The biggest influence on me as a manager would be Timmy, his commitment and dedication to us was exceptional always drilling home the fact that if we kept a clean sheet we wouldn't lose. He was constantly striving to get more out of us.
- As teammate it would have to be Emmet Byrne, he was so determined to win every ball, his consistency over the years made my job playing beside him much easier.
- I've no doubt that without Timmy or Emmet I would have been put out to grass long before I eventually did go.

3. What have you achieve in your time at the Club?
- We won the Division 2 Cup for the first time back in the early 90's & I think we won it again during our long stay in that division..
It took us over a decade to get out of Div 2 but when we did thanks to young Paddy Quinn, Brian Cos and Brian Hanley banging in goals for fun. We only spent the 1 season in Div 1 before joining the Premier league.
- I was lucky enough to be part of the team and squad that went on to win and to dominate locally for the next few years from 2006/07.
- Winning the first league title in Drom was a massive achievement for the club and a stepping stone for the success that has followed.
- I'd have picked up a couple of medals subsequent to that and was privileged to lift the League and Connaught Cup trophies in Ronan Kinneen's absence (he was club captain but missed the final week of the season as he was on honeymoon).
- As part of the Mgt team with Gabriel Galvin and Neville Hynes we won the Connaught Cup in 2011.
- I then returned when Seamie asked me to get involved and we both prepared for the interview process and were successful in getting the job back in 2014.
That season we won the league and went on to win Connaught Cup the following season. The last title I won as manager was the 2017/18 league beating Mervue in a play off.
- This season isn't over yet hopefully!!

4. What are your three most memorable moments with Athenry FC as a player?
- One of my fondest memories was winning the Division 2 cup for the first time back in the early 90's, beating Portumna with 2 late goals in the old Terryland. If my memory serves me correctly Andy Aherne and Shaughs snr got the goals. I don't think either scored again for about 5yrs...The celebrations were in Kno Kno's nightclub where 2 great club supporters Terry Nolan and Willie Killeen showed how to do it properly.
- The journey that took us to the FAI Jnr Cup Final. The away days in Sheriff, Dublin Bus etc.. great journey, great memories just a pity the final didn't go our way.
- As mentioned above winning the Premier League for the 1st time was special and hugely important for everyone at that time.

7. Who was the toughest opponent you ever played against?
- The best player I came up against was Seamie Crowe and that Mervue side he played with. We had thoughts on winning the Premier league when we just needed a draw to beat Mervue to the title but I was chasing shadows that day and they ended up winning the playoff aswell.

6. What are your three best moments as a manager?
- Winning the league on the last day of the season in 2015, just hanging on to draw 2-2 with Corrib Rangers.
- The Connaught Cup victory v Ballinasloe in 2016. Carlsberg don't do cup finals but if they did...
- The third was winning that playoff in 2018 v Mervue, we owed them in that one..

7. In all the squads you have been part of can you name the following:
Funny Guy - Hard to separate Andy Aherne and Finian Gardner, both quick with the one liners but not blessed with pace on the pitch.
Paddy Quinn has brought it to a whole other level since then though. He has been such a gem to have in the dressing room.
Tough as Nails - Again I'm cheating by naming 3. Ronnie Kinneen, Packie Byrne and Gary Delaney. When they crossed the white line the mist came down and it was best of luck to you if you crossed them.
Fastest player - Would have to be Johnny Mernagh for the few months he played with us.
Most Skillful - Seamie Crowe, he surely played at least 10 games for us between injuries.
Most Grumpy - Timmy, didn't like to give much away..
Best Player - Impossible to pick 1 so Jamie O Driscoll and Cathal Fahy.. Lads have had statues built for less than what these two have contributed to the game..

8. From all the players you have played with, name your strongest five a side team which includes yourself:
Goalkeeper - Adrian Cronin
Defender - Emmet Byrne
Midfielder - Jamie O Driscoll and Alan O Donovan
Striker - Cathal Fahy
(I wouldn't make it.)
Manager - Timmy for manager and Seamie as Coach..

Thank you,
@athenry_afc / #athenry_afc