Champions Fulham show their intent with Givney capture

19 June 2016; David Givney of Cavan in action against Cathal McCarron of Tyrone during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Tyrone and Cavan at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones, Co Monaghan. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

By Damian Dolan

Fulham Irish have signalled their intent to retain the senior championship title with the acquisition of former Cavan star David Givney.

The Mountnugent man, who can play midfield or full forward, helped Cavan win promotion to Division 1 of the league, and reach the All Ireland quarter-finals.

He moved to London in December 2016 to further his career as a quantity surveyor, but last year continued to play his club football for Mountnugent. He didn’t feature, however, under Cavan manager Mattie McGleenan.

This year he’ll play his football for Fulham Irish, where he’ll link up with former Cavan teammate Lorcan Mulvey.

“He’s very experienced; he’s played against the best teams and scored, and produced it on the big days,” Mulvey told the Irish World.

“For a big guy he’s quite skilful. He’s got an eye for goal so he’s well-suited to full forward. With a bit of luck he’ll be in good form at the right times for us.

3 April 2016; David Givney, Cavan, celebrates after the match. Allianz Football League, Division 2, Round 7, Cavan v Galway. Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

“It takes a bit of time to get used to London football, it’s not the same as at home, but come the end of the league he’ll hopefully be in good shape.”

With championship not due to get underway until September, Givney will have time to acclimatise to London football, and his new teammates before spearheading Fulham’s quest to make it back-to-back senior titles.

“There’s no point just winning it once. With me being away last year playing at home, there’s a bit of hunger in me to get another senior championship under my belt,” added Mulvey.

“Our push this year will definitely be to win it again, but it’s going to be very tough.

“St Kiernans are going well and Paul Coggins isn’t going to do half a job at TCG. He’ll do a full job like he always does. They’ll all be out to get the champions. We’ve lost a couple of guys but the nucleus is still there.

“It’s about getting back the hunger and the motivation of last year. It’s hard to do back-to-back wins, but that’s the aim. David will be a massive help in that.”

In 2013, Givney was part of the Breffini team which reached the All Ireland quarter-finals.

27 July 2013; Lorcan Mulvey, London. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 4, London v Cavan, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Having knocked out Division 2 Armagh and Fermanagh on route to the Ulster semi-finals, Monaghan prevailed by the bare minimum to deny Cavan a place in the final.

They then beat London in Round 4 of the qualifiers – Givney racking up 0-3 from play – before their hopes of a first All Ireland semi-final appearance since 1997 were ended by Kerry.

Buoyed by the side’s championship exploits, 2014 saw Givney part of the Cavan team which won all seven of its regular league fixtures to gain promotion to Division 2.

He stepped away from inter-county football in 2015 at the age of 24, after five years in the senior panel, only to return to help Cavan win promotion to Division 1 in 2016. Givney contributed 3-6 during the campaign.

He was then unstoppable against Tyrone in the sides’ Ulster semi-final meeting, twice finding the back of the Red Hand net. His second came in injury-time to tie the game up.

He’ll be a serious addition for the south Londoners team, as they look to make it back-to-back titles, if he commits to playing championship.

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