St Mary's manager Denis Connerton Picture: Willie Donnellan
St Mary's manager Denis Connerton has urged his team to go out and enjoy the experience of playing in the Connacht Gold Senior Championship Final as he plots to upset favourites Mohill in Sunday's decider in Avantcard Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.
Speaking to the Observer before Sunday's Final, Denis spoke of how the players should enjoy the experience of appearing in the Senior Final: "There is going to be lots of hype around the Final so go out and enjoy it. These are only very brief moments in your life, enjoy them.
"They’re not coming from a monastic background, they are only young men so let them go out and enjoy the occasion of the County Final, enjoy the atmosphere around it. The one thing you’ve got to be careful of is the surge in Covid cases in Leitrim."
Denis also credited his backroom team for helping St Mary's get to the final in a year crippled by the Covid-19 lockdowon: "I’ve got great people working with me in the management team and it is great to have them. They have great knowledge of the scene here because I wouldn’t have had that knowledge, I didn’t see them play in the League because we had no League and that was a major set-back to me and I didn’t know the opposition.
"They’re fit, most of them are young, they’re in good shape and we trained very well before lockdown. Once lockdown came, it was very hard for all players, not knowing whether there was going to be football at all or if there wasn’t going to be football. But once we got back and got the first two games out of it, we were okay.
"So that was two massive negatives for me but I’m getting to know the players now. I’m getting to know the opposition very well and I’m getting to know Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada very well so it is all good."
Speaking of the county grounds, the St Mary's manager was hopeful of seeing fans in the ground: "I’d love to see fans and I feel as if they will allow four or five hundred in here the next day, this is a fine big stadium. It would be a great atmosphere."
SEE MORE FROM DENIS IN THIS WEEK'S LEITRIM OBSERVER