Galway hurler Aidan Harte - Photo Credit: GAA.ie
Offaly may not have played in an All-Ireland Hurling Final since the year 2000, but the county does have a strong link to the 2017 decider in Croke Park.
Aidan Harte, who has been named in the Galway starting 15 for today's clash against Waterford, is a Geography teacher at Oaklands Community College in Edenderry.
Far from a hurling stronghold, Edenderry has benefitted from the presence of the Gort man, as he is involved in coaching the up-and-coming Oaklands football team.
He was instrumental from the sideline as the team put an impressive run together to claim the Leinster PP Schools 'D' Football title at Abbottstown in February of this year. They played an expansive brand of football, winning that final on a scoreline of 1-14 to 0-8 against Marian College of Dublin.
Harte certainly brought a youthful exuberance to the set-up. He was animated and passionate on that day, displaying an unbridled passion for GAA, dancing up and down the sideline, even on a cold February afternoon.
The team went all the way to an All-Ireland final, eventually losing out to Belmullet of Mayo, but the seeds of real growth within the school have been sown, and Aidan Harte is a large part of that, instilling steel and determination in his young charges.
Harte balanced that career as a teacher and a coach with a club hurling campaign with Gort and an inter-county run with Galway, which has led all the way to an All-Ireland final with Waterford.
He has been named in the half-back line for the Tribesmen, alongside Padraic Mannion and Gearoid McInerney, the son of Galway legend and cult hero Gerry McInerney.
The All-Ireland Hurling Final of 2017 between Galway and Waterford takes place at Croke Park today, September 3, with a 3.30pm throw-in.
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