Camanachd Cup triumph could be start of golden period for Kinlochshiel, says manager Johnston Gill
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Kinlochshiel manager Johnston Gill believes the club's first ever Camanachd Cup triumph could just be the start of a trophy-laden few years.
Shinty's biggest prize has come to Balmacara for the first time as Gill led his side to glory in their first appearance in the final.
It was only five years ago that they lifted their first ever senior trophy in the Macaulay Cup, with the Premiership title following in 2017.
Now they can add the Camanachd Cup to their collection, and that may not be all this season as they are still in with a chance of winning the MacTavish Cup too.
So Gill is looking to capitalise with his history-making squad by becoming a real force to be reckoned with over the next few years.
"I think the team we have here just now, we can get another couple of years out of most of them," Gill reasoned.
"We'll be hard to beat. We might not be done yet this season, we've got the MacTavish Cup final on October 23 I think it is and if we beat Kingussie – if we get through to the final it's probably them we'll be playing – then we're definitely going to get more trophies in the near future I would say.
"I think we can go on and win the Camanachd Cup again. Goodness knows, maybe we can win it two or three times. Hopefully we will anyway, that would be good for us in the future.
"I think it will keep people's minds on shinty rather than football or anything else."
It was notable that a significant portion of the crowd who travelled to Oban came from the west coast to support Kinlochshiel, and also that there were plenty of youngsters in attendance.
So as much as Gill would love to win more trophies in the next two or three years, a moment like winning the Camanachd Cup could also inspire generations to come.
Certainly it will not have hurt that Lovat put up a good fight in their losing effort, meaning it was an enjoyable match to watch for the neutral.
"You could see on the telly that there were a lot of young children there.
"They all want to be part of this now, especially when we win a big trophy like the Camanachd Cup they all want to play shinty.
"We've got young guys coming through that will take over from this team eventually, so the future is looking good at the moment.
"It hasn't sunk in yet, maybe it will tomorrow. Lovat are a good side, there's no doubt about that.
"We did have to work hard for it, but I think we were a better team – they have very good individuals who are not so much of a team.
"Our fitness was probably a wee bit better than theirs as well, so that combined with us being more of a team gave us that little edge on them.
"I was obviously nervous going in, I had butterflies in my stomach and all the rest of it, but you've just got to trust your players and hope they do their best on the day. We certainly did that on Saturday."