IT’S the biggest game in these Kinawley players’ careers and it’s the biggest game Kinawley manager Adrian Diver has been involved in but the Gweedore man is feeling confident ahead of Sunday’s All Ireland intermediate semi final against raging favourites St Sylvester’s, from Dublin.
“From my perspective I’m looking to enjoy the build up and enjoy the occasion. We’re acutely aware that we’re representing Fermanagh and we’re representing Ulster and we’re going up there to do ourselves as a club justice and the county in particular justice and the province.
“I genuinely do feel confident about this, that’s not to be cocky in any way but just watching the girls at training, watching the attitude, the tempo that we’re getting and what’s on show and I really feel like we can put it up to them and that we can make our way through to the final.”
Sylvester’s coasted through the Dublin county final beating Castleknock 3-14 to 1-06 and in the All Ireland quarter final they beat London side Holloway Gaels with 13 points to spare.
With so many Dublin senior players in their ranks they are tipped to end Kinawley’s journey on Sunday afternoon, in Dublin, but Diver is happy to approach the game with less pressure on their shoulders.
“For the first time in a long time there’s no real pressure on us. When you’re playing in Fermanagh, there’s a pressure to win, there’s no doubt about that. Then you’re going into Ulster and having lost those few Ulster finals in-a-row, you’re trying to avenge that. Even getting to the final your thoughts are onto, we’ve lost before.
“This is a new venture and there’s no pressure, we’re not playing at home, we’re not expected to win. I heard in commentary during the Dublin final and they said Sylvester’s had their eyes on an All Ireland and they still had to get through the Dublin final, Leinster and through Britain and then through ourselves.
“I genuinely feel, if we can replicate the tempo, the commitment, the never say die attitude and the very good play that we did in the Ulster run we can match them and I certainly feel like we can beat them.”
The team played a challenge game against Leitrim last Friday which was very beneficial says the manager and admits places are still up for grabs.
“There’s an excitement there, you can see that and the team’s not picked. With Erin (Murphy) being out, even from the Ulster final team, there’s going to be guaranteed at least one different person playing. The girls know that there’s a really important game at stake and definitely at least one place in the team if not more.”
The Fermanagh champions were crowned county winners for the fourth consecutive time when they beat Derrygonnelly back in October. The Boru’s went on to conquer Downpatrick, Trillick and Steelstown on their Ulster journey. Being in with a shout at the All Ireland final in mid January is all Diver and his team could’ve hoped for and the Donegal man knows it’s a great place to be.
“If you look at the other three semi finalists, one comes from Dublin, one comes from Mayo and the other comes from Kerry, three massive Gaelic footballing counties and it’s a privilege to be amongst that but we’re not just wanting to be there, we’re wanting to win.”
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