True North: Crossmaglen Field Of Dreams
On Monday night, a documentary about the Crossmaglen Rangers GAA club, was aired on BBC television.
The purpose of the documentary was to offer people an insight into how the club retreated to the GAA grounds during the plight of the Troubles and used the sport as a means of resisting the British occupation.
Not only did the members of the club successfully overcome the army presence, they also went on to dominate the GAA landscape in Armagh and secure six club All-Ireland titles. In his Gaelic Life column Kevin Cassidy - albeit a Donegal man- says he has always been fascinated by the club.
And watching the True North documentary, Cassidy enthused about the club loyalties and they are of paramount importance to the players.
''You could take many things from the documentary but the one thing for me was the fact that all players said at one stage or another that what they were doing was creating a legacy to pass down to the next generation and as big Paul Hearty put it in one of the team talks “we are Crossmaglen and this is how we do things”.
''It was important for the rest of the clubs on this island to see that these superpowers of club football are not born that way. They are not born with the God given right to succeed. They are not born with the talent to succeed but they have the will and the want to succeed and that is a very power thing.''
''Seeing a small rural parish like Cross do the magical things that they have done must give every club a glimmer of hope. Over the last number of years clubs have almost come second for players in that they give all they have to the county cause and their club suffers as a result.''
''It was evident that all Cross players, county players or not put their club first and this was refreshing to see.''