Cadden urges his boys to ‘empty the tank’

By Katrina Brennan

MICKEY Cadden will bring a wealth of championship experience to Donagh  this weekend when he bids to lead his Aghadrumsee team to championship honours.

The Magpies last won the Junior Championship in 2018 when they beat Coa 0-13 to 1-8. That ended a 28-year wait for silverware for Aghadrumsee, so the trophies have been scarce up and around the border village.

In Cadden, they have a manager with over 30 years’ experience between coaching and managing. He has enjoyed plenty of success along the way to, not least leading Fermanagh ladies to Ulster and All-Ireland success in 2017.

He also won an Intermediate title with Derrylin in 2014, as well as managing Redhills in Cavan to the same honours in more recent years.

Cadden makes kitchens for a living and lives in Belfast, making the long journey three days a week for training and matches. If Aghadrumsee could bring the cup home this weekend, Cadden says it would be a magic moment.

“It would definitely be up there amongst all of them (achievements) and maybe even more so because of the year we’ve had.

“We’re not overconfident but we feel happy enough that we’re going to do a job on the day. We’ve trained well enough and we’ve prepared well enough.

“It will be on us. It will not be how ‘Skea have played, it will be on us how we start off and finish. It will be inside our circle what happens,” says the Aghadrumsee manager.

The Magpies ‘got out of jail’ against Coa in the semi-final, coming from six points behind, with less than five minutes to go, to win it. This weekend, Cadden believes they’ll be deemed as being up against it.

“On the performance of our league, I’d say we are massive underdogs. ‘Skea would be big favourites to win it, a team that has structure over the years and all that craic.”

Asked if the underdogs’ tag is something that bothers him, he replied: “not in the slightest.”

“The favourites’ tag has done us no favour this year. Underdogs would not cost us a thought, we would prefer it that way.”

Aghadrumsee have a clean bill of health for this weekend’s decider and Cadden and his team are raring to go;

“They are chomping at the bit, they’re definitely up for it. We focused after the Coa game in the league and decided we take one game at a time and we’ll aim for Brookeborough first and we set out our stall on the day.

“Next was ‘Skea in Newtown on a blustery enough day and it could’ve went either way. Then we set ourselves up for Coa, again it turned out to be a harder battle than we anticipated. It’s not that we undermined Coa, we lost our way a bit in the second half but the boys are in the final now.”

And the message he will be giving to the boys will be a simple one.

“Make sure that we do everything we can to win. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t it doesn’t but make sure every man does his best and empties the tank for that full hour.”

To win on his home patch in Donagh would be a special feeling for Cadden, who has no issue with the game being switched from Brewster Park;

“Grass is green everywhere. We were on it last Tuesday night, we would be happy with the surface. Years ago people made a big deal of playing in Brewster, of course it’s nice to play in Brewster, it’s your county field but a field is a field and grass is grass. It would be just as sweet to win it in Donagh as it would in Brewster.”

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW