Junior Hurler of the Year – Danny Magee

Sean Treacy’s captured the Junior Championship crown in 2019 and Danny Magee has to take a lot of credit for bringing the title back to Lurgan. Across their semi final and final victories over Killeavy and Cuchulainns, Sean Treacy’s scored a combined total of 4-31, with Danny Magee accounting for 3-21 of their overall tally.

Magee is of course the free taker for the men in maroon but his accuracy in front of the goal posts from both the dead ball and open play was unmatched throughout the Junior division. He also displayed a keen eye for goal and his three-pointer in the Championship Final shuck a sticky Cuchulainns team to the side.

Magee was obviously delighted to accept such an accolade and it capped a perfect year for the corner forward. While he’s happy to receive the Junior Hurler of the Year award, he feels this will have a positive impact on the younger hurlers coming through the Sean Treacy’s ranks and for the club in general.

“Even to be nominated is a great achievement, especially coming from Lurgan, it’s completely dominated in football and soccer, so keeping hurling alive and being recognised year in year out is always a great achievement for our club. It’s good it gets out club out on the map and that’s what we want. We always want to give the younger individuals in our club something to aspire to, if they see someone from Lurgan being able to achieve these awards, it gives them something to reach out to.”

“It’s always good to be recognised, in a sport where you have to be modest in a sense, you’re team mates always get you where you are and your family and your coaches, but then again people don’t see what you do outside of that. The sacrifices you make with the trainings and what you’re doing outside of training to get yourself in shape to even be nominated for these awards.”

While he has the team around him to thank, Magee highlighted the personal hard work that goes on behind the scenes that puts him in a position to receive such awards and also provides us with an insight into his incredible mentality of always trying to be better than the man he comes up against.

“Outside of training I would always be looking after my body whether it’s extra gym sessions or going to the pool for recovery session, using steam rooms and going for the extra runs. The way I look at it is, you’ve always got to be doing better than your opponent, if he’s running a mile you’re running a mile and a half, if he’s doing 20 press ups you’re doing 30 and that’s the way I think.”

“That sort of mentality, there’s no limit to what you can do and that’s something I try to drive, especially in the championship campaign, just always ensuring you’re one step ahead of your opponent and it brings you on in that sense.”

Although Magee and his Lurgan team mates enjoyed a successful year in completing their main goal of winning the Junior title, they would have been disappointed in the way in which they crashed out of the Ulster Championship against Newry Shamrocks. The second half goal proved crucial and with reflection Magee knows how good the Newry side was.

“I suppose the less said about that day the better. After the dust had settled, not really no (too disappointing to lose), Newry are a good team and anybody that say they’re not, I don’t believe them. We went up that day and we give our best, yeah we could have won it but sure a goal decided it and if either team got that goal it would have been the difference, so they went on and they pushed Eoghan Ruadh right to the final whistle. Now we’re looking forward to pushing up to Senior next year and we’ll give it a good rattle.”

Turning addition to 2020, Sean Treacy’s will now compete in the Senior grade and Magee will take inspiration from sides who have won Junior Championships in recent years, “A realistic target, if we get the good side of the draw, we’ll be looking to go to the final. We’re at a stage now where we have near four or five players playing on the county panel, so that’s a third of the team playing county hurling so realistically we’ll be looking to hit the final.”

“Derrynoose have pushed on, they had won Junior a couple of years ago, they done a good Junior Ulster campaign and they went on to push Middletown to five points last year. We’re at that stage where we are competing against them teams so we want to stay up and maintain that Senior status for a couple of years.”