The Junior Championship will commence this Sunday with the meeting of Coa and Brookeborough and both sides will have their eyes set on reaching the semi-finals of the competition.

Coa contested last year’s final and because it had been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, that was only played recently with the O’Dwyers losing to Derrylin after a replay.

Coa manager Gary Donnelly feels the fact that they have had two championship games under their belt over the last few weeks will stand to them on Sunday.

“Championship football is at a different level so to have had two championship games already should benefit us on Sunday.

“Also, I know from the boys that with that final not having gone our way they are hungry now to do well this year,” said Donnelly.

However, he stresses that they won’t be looking any further ahead than the meeting with Brookeborough, who Donnelly expects will provide a very stern examination of their credentials.

“We have played each other a lot in the Junior Championship over the last few years and we are expecting the same as any other time we meet them, it will be a tough game.

“I think they are similar to ourselves in that they don’t always do well in the league but they step it up come championship time and last year they took the eventual winners Derrylin to two games.

“We won’t be looking any further ahead than Brookeborough, it is just about taking it one game at a time and seeing where that takes us,” he said.

Brookeborough manager, Stephen Donnelly, knows it has been a difficult league campaign for his side but he hopes the championship football will bring more hope and positivity.

“We had a tough league campaign but we have a couple of lads back and we aim to be competitive in the Junior Championship," he commented

Looking at Coa, he knows they pose a significant threat: “The two finals against Derrylin they were very impressive in both and could have won it on the first day.

“They beat us twice this year and they have some very good players and they are an established team in Junior."

Donnelly feels a lack of scoring power has let Brookeborough down this season as but he hopes that will change along with the fortunes of the sides.

“We need to score more. We have been lacking in the final third.

“It’s going to be extremely challenging but we hope to take that chance and we will be going out to win.”