For Enniskillen Gaels captain, Eoin Beacom, there is no doubt about his side’s ability to secure an Ulster Minor Club Championship title on New Year’s Day. The Gaels will cross swords with Derry champions Ballinascreen in St Paul’s Belfast.
“We have great belief in ourselves now. Getting to the final has proved how much we have learned over the past few years and there is no reason why we cannot go on and win it now,” Beacom revealed.
He watched Ballinascreen in their semi-final victory over Rossa of Antrim and while he was impressed with what he saw he believes that there is nothing to fear in the upcoming contest.
“They are a strong side and Derry teams always do well in this competition but we know that there is more in us. We played well in our first game this year but the semi-final was a bit of a dogfight and I think there is definitely more in us and we will need to play better in the final, but if we do then we can win it.”
In that semi final the Gaels saw off a talented Letterkenny side and for some among the ranks of the Fermanagh champions this has been their third year in the St Pauls tournament and there is no doubt that the experience is standing to them, as too is the obvious team spirit that exists among the squad;
“There is a great buzz at the moment. Everyone gets on well and we know that we will all work as hard as we can on the pitch and that is very important;” Beacom, who is part of the Fermanagh senior training panel, explained.
And the Gaels have been working hard off the field as well with regular training sessions over the festive period to maintain the sharpness ahead of the biggest game of their lives. With the captain stating that the sessions have ‘been tough’,
“It is what we have needed. Just to keep us right over Christmas. This is a big chance for us to go and do something really special and we want to make sure that we do everything we can in order to be successful.”
29 years ago Enniskillen Gaels became, to date, the only Fermanagh side to win an Ulster minor trophy. That team formed the backbone of the 1992 senior championship winning team while a number were still lining out in the yellow and blue when the six-in-a-row team ignited the club in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Beacom knows that his side have a chance to write their own bit of history and is also acutely aware that a win against Ballinascreen could be a major step toward future senior success;
“It would be fantastic to do what that minor team did. And I think for the club it would be important. There has been rebuilding over the past few years and we want to get back to where the club was and we know we are going to have to work very hard to have that happen. But to win Ulster would be a massive boost.”