Micheál Lyng captained the U21 side in 2005.
"I would say after watching the form of the players today, the future for Cavan football in the next few years looks bright whoever is here."
The speaker wasn't a Cavan supporter washed up in the rain in Brewster Park in April 2011, or suffering sun stroke in Clones that July, after our Ulster underage wins last year.
It wasn't even a wizened supporter, or an over-zealous young fan, speaking in the aftermath of the 2012 U21 victory over Tyrone.
The words were uttered by a man who had scaled football's mountain, the late Eamon Coleman, and he was speaking in March 2005 after the U21 side he managed had just beaten red-hot favourites Armagh in the Ulster semi-final at Breffni Park.
"The entire team played well in the second half and in fact played the shirts off their back to achieve victory. That is the kind of performance that would win the Ulster Championship," Coleman told this newspaper after that match.
He was almost right, too.
The following month, his team went toe to toe with an excellent Down side in the Ulster final. They lost team captain Micheál Lyng to injury after 23 minutes and would lose Sean Johnston the same way before the match was out. Anthony Gaynor, who was magnificent at centre-back, saw red in the 48th minute and still, Cavan hung on. The teams couldn't be separated in normal time and by the end of the 20 minutes of extra time, Down were winners by two points.
Why do we bring this up now? Well, they may have been on the wrong side of something of a drubbing by the time Kill's Joe McQuillan sounded his long whistle last Sunday, but Down seniors, under James McCartan, impressed many with their work-rate and application in the Ulster final.
Donegal have the look of a team playing with the hand of fate on their shoulder and if Sam returns to the hills, Down's effort will look all the better.
This is the same Down team that was a kick of the ball from re-claiming Sam themselves just 20 months ago, remember, the same team that stared down the Kingdom in Croke Park, and Kildare's team of all the talents. In short, a good, honest, skilful team.
Four of their best performers from that 2005 final have backboned their team since. Conor Laverty, Aidan Carr, Ambrose Rogers and Mark Poland all started the match. All are in their prime, 27-28-year-olds reaching the peak of their careers, playing in Ulster and All Ireland finals.
Of the team that beat back in 2005, a team decimated by injuries on the day, only two played with Cavan this year, Mark McKeever and Padraic O'Reilly.
Almost 25 players featured in that campaign during the wins over Monaghan - by a point - and Armagh, by two, and the extra-time loss in the Ulster final.
Now, it could easily be argued that the 2005 Cavan U21 team was one of the best in the country that year. Remember, Down waltzed through the semi-final and only lost out to Galway in a freakish goalfest of a final.
So just what has gone wrong in Cavan in the seven years since then that a full team of men who should be in their prime - grown men, not nascent adolescents, which is just waht Cavan seniors lack - have slipped away from the county scene?
Of the team that played in the final, most are still playing football with their clubs. Just two have left the county altogether to this writer's knowledge - Lorcan Mulvey is living and playing club and county football in London and Sean Johnston ditto in Kildare. Patrick Brady, described by Coleman as "magnificent" after the semi-final that year, has hung up his boots due to injury.
Whither the rest of those men? Food for thought.
Terry Hyland has a huge job to rebuild the Cavan senior team, and he is using the recent successful underage teams as a foundation. Unless, this time, Cavan persist with those players, through thick and thin (and the thin end of the wedge is coming, we suspect), someone else will be writing this same article in six or seven seasons' time. Now that would be a tragedy.
The team that lined out in the 2005 Ulster U21 final was as follows: Patrick Galligan, Gearoid Collins, Padraig Cahill, Padraic O'Reilly, Damien McInerny, Anthony Gaynor, Dermot Sheridan, Patrick Brady, Lorcan Mulvey, Mark McKeever, Shane Cole, Ciaran Galligan, Micheál Lyng, Peter Monaghan, Sean Johnston
Subs used: Alan Clarke, Niall Madden, Paul Brady, Mark Lynch, Ciaran Fitzpatrick, Kevin Donohoe.
Other players to feature earlier in that campaign included Anton O'Reilly, Dermot McGlade, Dara Gunne, Gary Ferncombe and Kevin McConnell.