Last weekend I caught up with my younger brother and one of the clubs most experienced players and vice-captain of the team Noel Carroll and I asked him will it be a case of all guns blazing by the time we head to Aughnamullen on Friday 14th June?
He responded “well, if it isn’t we will get one hell of a rude awakening because playing the reigning county champions (Ballybay) they will take no prisoners. They are very experienced side and know how to win games playing in the top flight whereas it’s relatively new to us to play up there. They have some of the finest footballers in the county and their potential to play well and kill teams is beyond no doubt.”
Referring to the league encounter he recalls: “They proved that a couple of weeks ago when they secured a devastating win in the league campaign. On that occasion, it was disappointing, conceding two goals early in the game propelled them to an easy victory and we’ve got to make sure we perform better.”
He added “I am certainly looking forward to the encounter which, no doubt, will be a difficult and demanding game for us against a tough Ballybay outfit. They have quality players and I know they will be looking to put in a big performance to retain their title. It’s important for us they we stay in the game and not let them dictate the pace, I think that will be our biggest challenge. They (Ballybay) are inclined to dictate the pace and dictate how other teams operate and it’s up to us set out our stall and put our own mark on the game and if can achieve that who knows what will happen!”
Commenting on his experience playing senior football to date he states “It’s been a tough few months but we have learned a lot playing in the top tier of Monaghan football and I am adamant that the lads are prepared for the clash. They are putting in a huge effort and I know they are just itching to play them and put in a performance.”
He continued “We’ve got good footballers who are quite capable of scoring and causing problems. Up front the likes of McKeown (Paul), Mark McGuirk and Fergal McGeough can always pose a threat in the forward line.” Speaking about the team’s defensive duties he allowed himself a carefree smile before saying, “I think McFadden (Cormac) has organised Tom Fox to park one of his buses in front of the goals.”He then quickly gave a more serious response and highlighted “our defenders will have a tough job keeping their forwards at bay, but it’s nothing they haven’t done before, we all have to be on top of our game to close them down and that will be a big issue.”
The question about do the players believe they can beat the much fancied Ballybay side he replied “all year since we started playing senior football Jim & Cormac have been trying to get inside our heads to make sure we believe. Not too many people are giving us a chance and that’s fine, we are huge underdogs and there’s no pressure, a lot will depend on our mentality. If we fear them and stand-off them, they’re going to obviously crucify us but I trust in the team’s ability and I believe if we match them man to man and bring the same level of intensity then who knows what might happen, we can achieve anything.”
I would like echo Nudie’s comments and say lads, believe in yourselves, believe in your team-mates because the difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s believe and determination….Ohh and one more thing “Don’t let them out EASY”….Good Luck lads.