When Avondale United manager John Cotter delivers his team talk before Sunday’s FAI Intermediate Cup final, a special mention will be reserved for Declan Cahill.
The defender will miss out on the game against Bluebell United at Richmond Park after picking up a second yellow in the last minute of their semi-final win over Leixlip United. It was cruel luck for one of the side’s most consistent performers and although he won’t tog out, Cotter insists they will keep him involved in the build-up.
“Since he came to us two years ago, he has been unbelievable,” Cotter said.
“Even around the dressing room and in training, he has a great attitude. We were gutted for him because he was our best player in the semi-final and it took the shine off it for us a bit.
“We want to keep him involved as much as we can, make him feel part of it, and we want to win it for him. We’ve been here before with David Spratt (2007) and Mark O’Sullivan (2011) missing out and it’s not easy. It’ll be extra special to win it for Dec.”
It should be extra special for Cotter too, of course, as he looks to win a record fifth final and a third on the bounce. Yet you won’t hear him uttering the words ‘three-in-a-row’ over the next 48 hours, however.
“We’ll only think about records afterwards. It has been mentioned a lot to me but we make sure to never mention it in the dressing room. It’ll be a great thing to do, it hasn’t been done in so long but Sunday will be as tough as any final we’ve played before. There’s a huge incentive to win because we’ll be the ones with the most cups.
“Maybe afterwards we’ll reflect on it but we’re not going to entertain it now. We have more important things to focus on now.”
As for Bluebell, he has seen them a couple of times and expects to be met by a tough team not short on experience – especially with three time League of Ireland winner Trevor Molloy pulling the strings.
“I saw them three weeks ago, they’re a good side. They’ve a great tradition in the tournament and have a lot of good players. I’m expecting them to be very strong and physical and they’ve a lot of experience.”
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