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Browne: ‘It’s great to be back in another senior final’

Having won a Senior Softball Doubles title in 2015 – the same year they won the hardball and 40x20 crowns – Dublin’s Eoin Kennedy and Carl Browne are back in the final and hoping to add yet another medal to their collections.

Browne, a product of the famed Kells club himself, is delighted to be back on the big stage but, he says, he and Kennedy are not putting any pressure on themselves.

“Look, it goes without saying, Gary and Brian are definitely one of the best partnerships to ever play the game,” stated Carol.

“Brian is the best right-side player of all time. I grew up naturally playing Gary and Brian in the Kells club for years, I know the lads so well. They have nearly no weaknesses, they are just so well balanced, they know each other’s games inside out and they’re both exceptional singles players as well so that makes it easy when you’re going into a game of doubles.

“We’re going in as big underdogs, the boys beat us really, really well last September. We’re going in just to enjoy the occasion, we’re not expecting too much as underdogs, the boys are strong favourites. It’s great to be back in another All-Ireland senior final, we’re just going to enjoy the occasion, enjoy the game and give it our best.”

That said, to get over the line would be sweet, he admits.

“It would mean everything. Winning any All-Ireland in any grade is a great achievement but when you’re collecting a senior medal it’s very special. Winning senior medals doesn’t last forever and you have to enjoy the occasion but definitely, it would mean the world to us to win another Senior Doubles title because Eoin and I aren’t getting any younger. Every final is a special one.”

Dublin come in off the back of two good wins and feel they are in a good place.

“Training doesn’t change too much for me and Eoin, we have a routine and we have stuck to it for the last few years. I suppose this year we have trained harder and we probably played a bit more than in other years, the few years after Covid were difficult.

“This will be our first senior final in the new centre. We were beaten by Gary and Brian last year in the semi-final and it’s great to be able to say we played in All-Ireland finals in the old centre and now the new one. It’s a great facility and hopefully they’re able to get a good crowd on the day and fill it the way it should be, like the old days back in the old Croke Park.

“It would be great to see it being back the night before the football and hurling finals, when you got a good crowd and a great atmosphere, people up in the city for the hurling and football, it would be great to get those days back. It is great to be back in Croke Park and to be playing in the new centre in another senior final.

“Playing at any level your motivation is high but when you’re competing for senior medals and senior titles, you always have that drive. We love just being competitive and love being in the mix with the big boys. When you win an All-Ireland any day, it’s a good day.”

Tickets for the finals are available here.