Johnston yearning for Ulster championship success

Yesterday's crowning as the OPEL/GPA Footballer of the Month award was another happy day for Cavan's shooting star Seanie Johnston, but personal honours aside, the young forward is craving team success in this summer's Ulster championship.

Yesterday's crowning as the OPEL/GPA Footballer of the Month award was another happy day for Cavan's shooting star Seanie Johnston, but personal honours aside, the young forward is craving team success in this summer's Ulster championship.

Johnston was rewarded by the GPA for his eight-point haul against Antrim in last month's preliminary round tie.

However, the DCU student is fully aware Cavan will have to up their game 100 per cent if they are to beat Armagh this Sunday at Breffni Park and book a place in the semi-finals.

"We need a huge improvement. If we give Armagh the chances that we gave Antrim, the game could be over early and there won't be much of a crowd left at half-time," he said.

"If you give Ronan Clarke and Steven McDonnell chances like that, they will punish you.

"It's probably good for us to have a game under our belts already but obviously Armagh are a well-drilled team with plenty of experience.

"They won't have any fears coming to Breffni Park and they probably have their sights set on bigger games than this Sunday.

"It's probably winning Ulster and All-Ireland titles that are their goals, so we know how tough it's going to be," he added.

Cavan last beat Armagh in the championship in 1978, but the counties have only met once in Ulster SFC fare in the intervening 30 years.

Johnston is looking forward to having a crack at the Orchard county.

"We'll head over to Breffni Park and see how things go," he said.

"The way Armagh defend, it's not just a one-on-one game. They can have 10 or 12 men back there.

"That's the way they play and it's up to us to counteract that with some sort of forward system to try and create space and hopefully we can do that on Sunday."

And Johnston is keen also to make up for a poor league campaign, with Cavan's only notable mark on the spring of 2008 being a surprise victory over Cork at Breffni Park.

"We were pretty disappointed with the way the league finished off," he said.

"It was a good experience for the younger lads to be playing against teams that had been in All-Ireland semi-finals and finals recently.

"The overall result was disappointing and our last two games were very poor but we are in most games in the last five or ten minutes, and it shows that if we do perform we can be a match for most teams."

Johnston is also thrilled that team captain Mark McKeever will be back in the reckoning for Sunday's game.

"It's good to have Mark back to captain the team. I know he was very disappointed to miss out the last day.

"Obviously for Cavan we need everybody fit and well and it's good to have him back. There are a few niggling injuries but nothing that should keep boys out of Sunday."

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