By Mark McGoldrick
FOR the past 10 months, Mickey Cadden has been making over a 140-mile trek from Dunmurry in Belfast to Aghadrumsee for training several times a week.
The long journey and commitment has been challenging for the St Macartan’s boss but the reward on offer on Friday night would make it all worthwhile.
“It would be up there [with my greatest achievements],” said Cadden.
“I won an intermediate championship title with Redhills in Cavan, an intermediate championship title with Derrylin in Fermanagh and an Ulster Championship and All Ireland title with the [Fermanagh] ladies.
“We wouldn’t have been fancied to win it [the junior championship] so it would make it more of an achievement for definite.
“It would certainly be another feather in my cap,” he laughed.
Aghadrumsee defeated Brookeborough by five points in the opening round and they later booked their place in the junior championship final with a two-point win over Newtownbutler.
Having made the decider at the first time of asking, Aghadrumsee had a two-week break, one more than their opponents Newtownbutler, who had to play a second semi-final.
Cadden said his players were glad of the extra week’s break to get over the ‘few knocks and niggles.’
“We have nearly a clean bill of health now,” he said. “We have a big panel of nearly 30 players and we are nearly back to full strength.
“We were glad to avoid that [second semi-final] game because you never know what happens.
“It might give us a wee bit of an advantage [over Newtownbutler].”
Aghadrumsee dispatched Newtownbutler in the semi-final in mid-September.
Many fancied the First Fermanagh’s to book their final spot but an Eddie Courtney-inspired Aghadrumsee pipped Newtownbutler to the win.
Cadden is expecting another massive challenge from Darren Chapman’s Newtownbutler.
“I don’t think they will take us as lightly the next day,” said Cadden.
“I think they will be a bit more up for it when it is a final.
“I imagine they will make a few more changes, I don’t think they will line out like they did [two weeks ago] and if they do, we have to try and get our matchups right.”
It has been a long four years since Aghadrumsee last got their hands on championship silverware and Cadden is determined to make the most of the opportunity this time around.
“We are delighted to be there,” he said, “It is always great to get to the final.”