Self-belief, confidence, chutzpah, whatever you want to call it, no sports person ever gets anywhere without a great deal of belief in their own ability and St. Mary’s manager Brendan Guckian is no difference, proclaiming his belief that his team can overcome champions Glencar/Manorhamilton next Sunday.
By John Connolly
Brendan’s belief is evident when the Observer asks the St. Mary’s manager if his team can go one step further than last year as he replies “Do I believe we can win the County Final? Absolutely, I do and I’d be doing an injustice to the panel of players I have if I didn’t believe that. It is a huge challenge but if we match their work-rate and match their intensity, we’ll be there or there abouts.
“It goes back to the belief and our lads have that belief that we can win games, that we can graft out a result, that we can do what needs to be done. Previous years, we may have panicked a bit in similar situations but not anymore, guys are controlled, they don’t lose their head, they are well disciplined and I think that has definitely helped us along.
“The Annaduff game was a huge test for us and we needed that, it was good for us to get it. I have full belief in the lads, I have full belief in their ability and I have full belief that we are capable of taking Manorhamilton,” said Brendan.
But if the belief is strong in St. Mary’s ability to land the Fenagh Cup, Brendan is quick to acknowledge the size of the task ahead - “Huge challenge, Manorhamilton without doubt are a very impressive side and I think their win in the semi-final, 2-16 to 1-4 I think. Sean O’Heslin’s are a good team and Annaduff only beat Sean O’Heslin’s by two points in the group stages and we struggled against Annaduff so it just goes to show how strong they are.
“Their work-rate is, I think, one of their biggest strengths. You mention their full-forward line but their full-forward line works as hard as the full-back line. That is something we have to look at, match that intensity and match that work rate. I couldn’t see where you could target a weakness within the Manorhamilton team. It is a tough game but it is where you want to be.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.