McCann: We can cause an upset

Antrim’s decent record in the back door has given midfielder Michael McCann the belief they can cause an upset against Galway.

On the face of it, Galway should have little trouble winning at Casement Park today and booking their place in the draw for the third round of All-Ireland football qualifiers.

But that doesn’t take into account Galway’s shocking record in the back door, where they have failed to win a match since beating Louth in 2004.

Antrim, on the other hand, quite enjoy the challenge the back door brings, according to midfielder McCann.

“We always seem to be able to win a couple of qualifiers every year,” he said.

“Teams that think they should be winning provincial titles every year seem to struggle to get up for the back door.

“They’re drawn against teams two or three divisions below them and are still depressed that they haven’t won the provincial title.

“They can’t get their heads around it in time, whereas teams like ourselves from the lower divisions see it as a chance. They can get up for it.”

After a devastating Ulster final defeat by Tyrone in 2009, Antrim regrouped quickly enough to push Kerry hard in a fourth round qualifier in Tullamore.

In 2010, they should have beaten Kildare in Newbridge but ended up drawing the game and subsequently lost the replay at Casement.

Last year they beat Carlow and Westmeath before falling to Down.

“Obviously Galway are a big step up from that and they will always fancy their chances against anybody,” McCann admitted.

“They have had great underage success in recent years and will want to show they’re much better than they looked against Sligo.

“For us, it’s a great opportunity. We were hoping to avoid an Ulster team in the draw and it’s brilliant to play a team we’ve never played before. We wouldn’t normally get the chance to play against the likes of Michael Meehan, Padraic Joyce and Joe Bergin.

“It’s something totally fresh and different. It’s a great draw for us.”

Meehan starts for Galway for the first time this year but these counties have never met in the championship before, which adds a little curiosity to the fixture.

Antrim got over a tricky first back door game away to London two weeks ago, the day after McCann’s younger brother Tomas got married and a weary wedding party had to fly to Ruislip for the game.

“At the end up we were lucky to get out of it,” admitted McCann.

“Realistically, we should have won by 20 points. We had goal chance after goal chance. But when we were five points up, we took our foot off the pedal and nearly got caught.

“I think we’ll be a lot closer to our best on Saturday.

“The game should suit us. Galway play a bit of football and you know what you’re going to get.

“It will be an open game and the dry conditions will suit both teams. Hopefully it will be a lot closer than most people think.”

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