It’s two years since Joe McQuillan was honoured by becoming the fifth Cavanman to referee an All-Ireland senior final and today, the Kill Shamrocks clubman will mark a new milestone when he joins the elite club of referees who have taken charge of two senior finals.
The decision was announced last Tuesday after McQuillan was informed personally over the phone by Croke Park official Pat Doherty.
And he admitted that he’ll have some butterflies in his stomach when he takes to the field for the Mayo v Dublin clash. "You never expect it, you take it as it comes," McQuillan told The Anglo-Celt.
"There are always three or four referees in contention to get it so it was down to a few of us.
"I’ll be nervous surely, there are no two of them the same and I’ll go in with nerves but if you didn’t have nerves there would be something wrong. "I would expect an open game, although the weather will dictate that as well.
"They are two footballing, sporting teams so I think it will be back to the orthodox 15 against 15, I wouldn’t say there will be any packed defences or anything."
McQuillan will travel to Dublin on Saturday evening but says his routine won’t differ from other big matches.
"We go to Croke Park tonight [Tuesday] for a final briefing, as we would for any other final, but there won’t be much major differences on the day, timing of going out on the field will be sorted tonight. But there will be nothing major, a few wee things different on the day," he said.
McQuillan’s team of umpires will be the same as in 2011, namely Ciaran Brady, Tommy O’Reilly, TP Grey (all Kill) and Jimmy Galligan (Killygarry).
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