By Shaun Casey
SEAMUS McEnaney’s Corduff are in “bonus territory” according to the former Monaghan boss as they begin their Ulster Championship campaign this weekend.
The Farney men take on Armagh champions Shane O’Neill’s, who have Orchard County stars Greg McCabe and the Mackin brothers, Connaire and Ciaran to call upon.
“There’s a couple of things about the Ulster Club Championship,” said McEnaney. “Number one, we’re going into the unknown, number two we’re in bonus territory as I said after the championship final anything that happens in our lives for here on in will be a bonus.
“I’m very aware of the strength of Shane O’Neill’s, they have three senior inter-county players for Armagh while unfortunately we have no such luxury. They’re a phenomenal club with a huge population and a huge strength and depth in their team. We’re going into the complete unknown.
“Shane O’Neill’s have played three championship matches in the Athletic Grounds, quarter final, semi-final and final, so it’s effectively their home ground.
“The cards are stacked against us in relation to the inter-county experience they have within their panel and also, we’re playing them in their home ground.
“But we’re in bonus territory, we’ll go down the road to Armagh with the whole community behind us and we’ll try and be the best we can be, and we’ll see where that takes us.”
It’s been a rollercoaster couple of weeks for Corduff as the collected championship and league honours seven days apart.
McEnaney’s side trailed by two against Magheracloone in the championship decider but rallied with a last-minute goal while they were behind by ten in the league final against the same opposition before producing another dramatic comeback.
While the never say die attitude is impressive, it’s a habit that McEnaney hopes his side can get out of as it’s happened all too often this year.
“It’s been a hectic time, there’s been a huge effort put in but it’s probably draining as well. That’s the hardest part of the whole job, the celebrating, it was nearly harder than the football.
“Having not won the Intermediate Championship for 24 years and to win it with a last-minute goal was a huge achievement for the club and a huge achievement for the lads. To win the double, it’s absolutely brilliant for the club, it’s brilliant for the young people of the club and for this group of players,” McEnaney added.
“We were maybe nine or ten down at one stage in the league final, we were only two points down in the championship final. But the two previous games we were six points down in the quarter final and six points down in the semi-final and we found a way to come back and grind out a win.
“But some time very shortly if we don’t get our act together that won’t happen. It’s not by design that we want to be coming back from six or seven points down, it’s not good enough and it won’t be good enough in the future.”