Frankie Dolan has been one of the most skilful (and controversial) players in Roscommon football over the past decade. After a brilliant few years with the Roscommon county senior team, Frankie has not been on the panel over the past two years but has been playing away with his club. His form this year has generally been excellent. However instead of making a significant score-getting contribution he has taken up the role of a key distributor of the ball from his position at centre half-forward and played particularly well in the semi-final against Roscommon Gaels.
Frankie, one of the nicest and most co-operative guys you could meet, has the honour of captaining his club in Sunday’s county senior final and was in a determined mood when I met him after a St. Brigids training session last week.
The captain says that if anything the Brigids players are even more determined this year than in 2006. “Everything has gone very well so far. The lads have worked so hard and there is a great determination and hunger this year. I would say (there is) even more determination than last year. There is more competition for places and I must say I’m really looking forward to the game” he said.
The former inter-county ace said that the team have recovered well from the scare they got against Strokestown in the quarter-final. “We were lucky to have survived that day in Knockcroghery. They nearly caught us and a draw might have been a fairer result. However we picked it up well against the Gaels in the semi-final and we won far easier than we thought we would. We were expecting a massive game from the Gaels but it didn't happen for them on the day” he said.
Like his manager, Frankie Dolan was also reluctant to entertain any talk about a three-in-a-row. “It’s just another county final. A lot of club players never get a chance to play in one. This is the 2007 county final and we are trying to win it and that’s all. We are determined to do so” he said.
Frankie says it a massive honour for him to be the captain of the team this year. “Oh yes it’s a great honour to be the captain of the team. We are the county and Connacht champions but at the end of the day, captain or not, I’m just one of the team and I have to play my part too” he said.
I asked Frankie about his changed role in the team over the past two years – from scorer-in-chief to a key distributor of the ball. “I’m enjoying it and I have been getting into it slowly this year but thankfully it's coming right. We have excellent forwards inside and Senan (Kilbride) is a very good target man. As long as I’m on the team and injury-free I’m happy enough” he said.
“St. Faithleachs are a good team. They have qualified for two finals in a row so they are no flash in the pan. They beat Pearses easily in the semi-final. We were watching the first half of the semi-final and they blew them out of the water and we are going to have to play to the best of our ability to win.”
Frankie is still enjoying his football and looking forward to the prospect of victory. "I‘m enjoying it certainly. Sunday is my seventh senior final since 1997 and any time you get to a final (it) is a big thing. You never know what’s around the corner or whether you might ever get a chance again to play in a county final, so I might as well enjoy it while I'm here – and hopefully we can win the title too” he concluded.