It is all a little surreal for Belnaleck’s Kane Connor, as he prepares for his side’s Ulster Junior final this Saturday evening with Naomh Colmcille of Donegal.
“I don’t think any of it has really sunk in. We have just been going from one match to the next and we are in an Ulster final now. It’s a bit strange and hard to get your head around. People are stopping you in the street to talk about the game and wishing you well and its been great.”
Connor knows though that the occasion itself is something that he and his team-mates will need to be wary of and the county man pointed out the need for Belnaleck to keep to the same formula if they are to be successful;
“I think it is just about making sure that we do the simple things well really. That’s the most important thing. Just concentrating on working hard and doing what we have been doing.”
It has certainly been working to date with a rich vein of form hit since the start of the Fermanagh Championship although it was to be the Ulster semi final before the Art McMurroughs were to have their full strength team on the pitch for the first time this season;
“I think over the past number of years our biggest problem has been getting everyone out on the pitch. Through injury and for one reason or another we have had players missing and even in the county final this year Che (Cullen) was unavailable. But we have been improving and the squad is really strong now and I think that is something that is standing to us,” Connor explained.
The talented defender missed the first round win over Down champions Dundrum through suspension but while he revealed that it was a tough to watch he maintains he had total faith in his team-mates;
“It was very hard not being involved in that first game in Ulster but I had great confidence that we would win. We had watched them play and really thought that we could take them and the boys put in a super performance,” he stated.
While the performance against Dundrum was sleek and polished the semi final win against Doire Trasna was more grit and determination with Connor accepting that in terms of quality there is improvements to be made;
“Let’s be honest, it was a poor game and we did not play well but we showed our togetherness and the fact that we were not going to quit. They scored a goal late on to take the lead and in years gone by that would have finished us but we came back and got two great scores to win it.”
It is certainly true that this Belnaleck team is made of stern stuff at present with their undoubted quality of personnel never in doubt and on Saturday they will enter Healy Park with no fears of the the opposition; instead just a healthy respect;
“They are Donegal champions and they will fancy their chances. Some of the boys went up to watch them in their semi final and we will have a game plan ready but to be honest it is going to come down to how we go out and perform. We know there is more in us. They will believe that they can win and we will believe the same and that’s just the way it is going to be, after that it will be down to who performs better on the night,” Connor concluded.
No reason why that can’t be Belnaleck as they look to become only the second Fermanagh club side to win an Ulster Club football title. A place in history beckons.