When Cork City won what was then known as the eircom League in 2005, John O’Flynn and Liam Kearney got the vital goals in the final game against Derry City.
Nine years on, after various spells away, both are back at the club, and hopeful of adding another medal if City can get a result away to Dundalk tomorrow night.
O’Flynn hopes he can impart his experience to the younger squad members should the require it.
“It’s about trying to make it as normal a week as possible,” he said, “and not to get carried away.
“We still have to go up on Friday and do a job, we did it in 2005 and there are probably more medals in our changing room than there is in theirs. There is that bit of positivity that we can dip into if any of the lads want to talk about it.
“From the first game to the last, the objective is the league title, the difference now is that we have a chance of getting it in our hands.
“We’ll be doing everything possible to keep it normal.”
Kearney believes the general reluctance to view City as title challengers for much of the season can be used as a motivating factor.
“A lot of people talk about the pressure,” he said, “but the pressure, in my eyes, is to get to this point. The last four or five games were pressure games and this is a cup final now, where you have the freedom of just going to win the game.
“We’ve been written off all year and, as a player, it kind of hurts you, you wonder how they can write you off, with the players we have.
“We’ve proven ourselves, but we have to prove ourselves one more time.”
City go into the game a point ahead. Avoiding defeat will secure the title, but Kearney would prefer to get a win.
“I know a draw will do us, but when you look back on 2005,” he said, “a draw would have done Derry but I think the team they put out that night was to get a draw and it didn’t work.
“You have to approach it that this is the night, it’s one that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. I’ve had disappointments too — the FAI Cup in 2005 was a disaster — so you draw on the positives and the negatives.”
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