ST PATRICK’S Cullyhanna must attempt to avoid the hype surrounding this weekend’s championship derby against Silverbridge.
This weekend the Armagh neighbours go head to head for a place in the next round, but St Patrick’s manager Stephen Reel says the danger is that players will get caught up in the hype. He’s determined that wont’ happen.
“It is really a case of a fixture for the supporters. We will be focused on the job at hand and try not to get sucked into that. We will try to execute what we want done on the day. Hopefully that will get us across the line.”
So how does a team avoid the hype and focus on the job at hand?
“It will come down to which team executes their game plan best will get the result. If we do that on the day, and put in a proper shift, then we will be okay. If we don’t then we will struggle.
“We are focus on our own strengths and not focus on the other team. If our team focus on themselves then they will not get drawn into the occasion.
“I know that all Cullyhanna will want to do is focus on the game of football and enjoying the game.”
Reel also revealed that Cullyhanna adopted a different approach this season in order to maximise their potential. It seems that earlier in the campaign they realised that injuries were piling up and that they had to change their approach if they wanted to have a successful run.
Reel said: “It’s been a tricky season in many ways. We had a few major injuries coming into the start of the league from last year. Then we picked up a few more serious injuries. Our squad was well depleted in many ways so we made the decision early in the league that we needed to forget about the league.
“Yes we wanted to stay safe, but we focused on preparing for the championship. We sat the boys down and told them that. We told them we needed to get the ting right for championship. We told them not to rush any rehab for league games but to make sure they were right for championship.”
Not play their strongest team during the league seems like a dramatic call for a management team to make, but it has paid off.
“It was a big call.
“The league we came up short in a few games. We lost a few games by a point. We competed well. We had players out. But we competed well and we were in a good place coming into the championship. We had big players who could have played in league games but we didn’t risk it. We didn’t rush them and we stuck to the programme. As it turns out now or squad is getting stronger every week. We have had an injection of five or six players who are back and who are important. The squad is strong and it is giving us that sort of depth.”