Jack O’Donovan's championship glory in San Francisco   07/09/2017



Former O’Donovan Rossa senior footballer Jack O’Donovan recently helped inspire San Francisco based team Sean Traceys to senior championship glory for the first time since 2011.

Sean Traceys prevailed following a pulsating final encounter. They defeated Young Islanders/St Brendan’s on a full time score of 2-10 to 1-10. Jack who produced a sublime performance in the championship final was thrilled to help his US based team capture championship glory. “I am absolutely delighted to get the win. Sean Treacys had not won a SF senior football title since 2011, so it was long overdue. Young Irelanders are a very good team. We had to work so hard and play so well on the day to win. They hammered us in the final of the St Patrick’s Day Cup which is a tournament for just home based players earlier in the year, so it was great to get revenge,” said the ace forward.

Jack operated at full forward for Sean Traceys for the final showdown. He played a key role in Sean Treaceys three point win. The classy forward notched four points from play during their final triumph. Jack was thrilled to play his part in their win. “I was delighted with how the year went. I was happy to contribute to our success. To get four points in the final was a great achievement. The pitches over here are huge and all the games are 13-a-side which requires a lot of running even as an inside forward. The big advantages of this are that it leaves oceans of space and loads of one on one situations which are what I thrive on. I am just thrilled we won the championship title. The whole squad contributed to our successful season.”

Jack has been very impressed by the standard of the football in the California State. The players brought over on J1 schemes during the summer also proved beneficial revealed Jack. “The standard is pretty high with the huge Irish population here. There are some quality players playing out here which always ensures a good standard and competitive matches. The bar raises astronomically with all the boys that are brought out then during the summer.”

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Douglas ace Kevin Flavhive was a very welcome addition to the Sean Traceys ranks. The former Cork minor captain moved to San Francisco for the summer season as a J1 student. Jack is lavish in his praise for the talented defender. “Kevin was a great addition to our squad. He is a beast of a player. He is a savage footballer. He gave his heart and soul out here for the summer. He played a vital role in our championship success.I hope he gets a look in with the new Cork senior football manager Ronan McCarthy next season.”

Jack, who works in Data Analytics, has lived in San Francisco for the last two years. The Cork man is delighted he joined Sean Traceys GAA Club, a club with a very strong reputation in San Francisco. “One of my friends played with Sean Traceys which helped convince me to join forces with them. I am delighted I joined them. They are a super club. The players are all very sound and welcomed me with open arms. The club is like a family as instant bonds and friendships are made. San Francisco is pretty small too, so it makes a huge difference having 20 new friends immediately. There is a great team ethic within the squad and we are always competing for honours which was a great incentive to join.”

Sean Traceys maintain the same training routine as most clubs back home in Ireland as Jack elaborated upon. “We train every Tuesday and Thursday night. We would have a game nearly every weekend in the summer. It’s easier in the summer for sure when we have 30 lads at training which ensures we have very competitive training sessions.”

Attention for Sean Traceys now turns to competing in the North American football championships this weekend. Jack cannot wait to spearhead their challenge for major championship glory. “It will be a great honour to play in these championships. They are the highest grade of football you can play in the US. The standard will be very strong. We have prepared well and hopefully we will do well at the championships. We are due to play the quarter-final this Friday evening against Vancouver. We have only two of our J1 players left. They will be a big loss. We are still confident however. We will give it our best and hopefully we can achieve more glory.”

Jack who helped the O’Donovan Rossa minor and U21 football teams respectively win divisional and county glory in recent seasons has cherished memories of playing with the Skibbereen based club as he recalls. “They were great days winning the county titles. We had a special group of talented players with a great will to win. I have great memories. I still follow the fortunes of Skibb and Cork football from afar. Nothing will top winning titles with Skibb back home. They were great days, memories for life were made.The Rossas are in a tough situation this year as things haven’t gone to plan. There is a lot of talent in the club and they have the players to get out of this and be back competing for honours next season. The club has a bright future.


Interviewed by John Bohane






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