Premier Milk Cup manager Gareth McGuckin knows it is a big week for himself and his boys.
The Fermanagh coach is looking for his players to get as much out of the week as possible.
“I’m looking for them all to enjoy the occasion.
“At times too much is expected of Fermanagh teams, but for the s quad, hopefully this year we will be going for the experience and to get everything out of it on and off the field.”
“The boys need to enjoy the occasion and learn what they have to do in different situations against quality footballing sides,” said McGuckin.
The Fermanagh coach, who managed the Junior squad two years ago says he has learned a lot since then.
“I think that competition made me a better person. Then I don’t think I had the right footballing mind in me. Now I am much more aware and and hopefully got it into the players’ heads to achieve as much as they can when they are at the Milk Cup.”
He says he is a lot hungrier for the competition this time around and has tried to instill that in his present crop of players. Myself and my coaching staff have all had Milk Cup experience, and hopefully we can bring that to the table during the week of football,” said McGuckin.
The Premier side’s opening fixture is agaiinst New Zealand side Otago and both teams are no stranger to each other.
“Everyone expects a good performance in this openinig game. I know that when they start on the opening day there will be an international buzz about it. There is always big hype on the first day and we are desperate to make it a successful opening day.”
McGuckin thinks it is a very winnable game and says his side will be very positive going into it.
“We’re still making a few basic errors, but hopefully when we get up there and begin the real football things will fit into place. If the boys settle quickly I know we can get a result.”
The Mexican side is the second game and McGuckin knows how skillfil they can be having met a similar side, Cruz Azul two years ago.
“They will be very quick on the ball and have good movement, but they don’t like any kind of physical play. I’ll be looking for the players to impose themselves in this game so that we can get plenty of ball to play our own game.”
The final group game is against neighbours Tyrone. It’s a head to head of two county teams and could decide who tops the group.
“We know it will be a difficult game, but we played them two years ago and it was very close. They are not as strong, I think, this time around, but derby games and unpredictable. We know it will be hard but the boys will be well up for it.”
As for the week overall the Fermanagh coach knows his side has two winnable games and it looking for at least four points fromthe group games to get into the middle compeptition.
“We just have to introduce that little bit of consitency into our game to set it off. We have been excellent in some game, but sloppy in others. If we can get that consistency early then it will help us tremendously.
“But it is important that the boys enjoy themselves and experience the international flavour of the tournament,” he said.
McGuckin knows his side can score goals with Ashley Hoey physical and good in the air, Adam Breen, good work rate and eye for goal, Jamie Lee Fawcett’s nose for goals and Michael Dooris’ natural ability in the penalty box.
“I know we have the ability to score, but we must secure possession and create openings for them. We must get the ball down and be comfortable. They have to play good football in a disciplined way and if they can achieve that then they will have done well.”
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