Shane McGullion – Interview
Friday September 4th 2015, Derrygonnelly were facing Ederney in a Senior Football Championship Quarter Final replay in St Marys Park, Garrison.
The then Derrygonnelly manager Martin Greene turned to the sub bench in the 52nd minute and brought on 16 year old Shane McGullion to give the youngster his Championship bow.
Derrygonnelly would win the game, 1-14 to 1-5 before defeating Devenish in the Semi Final and romping over Roslea in the Final, 3-16 to 3-7, a Final in which Shane McGullion was the talk of Fermanagh with two expertly taken goals for a 16 year old kid playing in his first ever Senior County Final.
It’s what dreams are made of, for the humble McGullion he just takes it all in his stride, “I was probably a little bit nervous that day against Roslea but I didn’t do a big pile apart from hitting the two goals at the right time. It really was a brilliant day and it was a brilliant feeling for myself, I am playing with a phenomenal group of players and I suppose we are creating history for ourselves with each game.”
McGullion has an astounding record for Derrygonnelly Harps that is still intact today, he has still to play in a losing Derrygonnelly Harps team in the Fermanagh Senior football Championship since making his debut that balmy Friday evening in Garrison back in 2015.
A record that McGullion has never really thought much about, “To be honest hearing that record is something quite new to me. I really just enjoy my football, I try and work hard in training, I try to get on the ball as much as I can during match days and I just put my body on the line for Derrygonnelly Harps.”
He continued, “It’ s all I know really, from a young age going down to Sunday morning football to playing for teams at underage level and progressing to the Senior side, I am really enjoying my football and why would I not, we are winning Championship titles and are progressing in the Ulster Club Championship.”
McGullion now 21 years of age works in the Lakeland Forum and the Bawnacre as a Leisure attendant, he is also with the Fermanagh Senior football side and acknowledges that it can be tough going at times, “Yeah its great getting to represent the Fermanagh Senior side, Ryan has came in this year and he has spoken to all of us, fair play to him, he is giving us as much time as we want with the club and hopefully that can continue on well into 2020.”
Derrygonnelly were only to ever secure a second Ulster Club win after winning the Fermanagh Senior title 8 times, with a win in 2017 against Armagh Harps and the 2-10 to 0-12 victory over Cargin of Antrim in this year’s Preliminary round.
McGullion acknowledges Trillick are an exceptional side, “First and foremost to win the Tyrone Senior title takes some doing, it probably wasn’t the prettiest Final against Errigal Ciaran but I’m sure Trillick didn’t care one bit. We know plenty about Trillick, and I’m sure Trillick know plenty about Derrygonnelly. I would have went to school with a lot of the Trillick players, while our big name players and the Trillick big name players are all fine County players so the Donnelly’s and Jones’ of this world need no introductions to each other either.”
He continued, “Trillick will be favourites, they would have seen us against Cargin and will look to exploit any weakness in our side. As Fermanagh County champions it is up to us to put in a performance at Brewster Park and now let ourselves, the club or the magnificent support that we get at every game down. It won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination but I feel that we can group together well and when our chances come our way like they did against Cargin then it’s really important we take them.”
Shane McGullion may only be 21 years of age but the way he keeps himself, speaks and his modesty is far out reaching his young age. On Sunday McGullion will be one of Derrygonnelly’s danger men and if he plays well there is a fair chance the Derrygonnelly side will play well.