ALL eyes in Holy Trinity College Cookstown will be on their U18 footballers as they travel to Croke Park Dublin for the All-Ireland Vocational Schools football final this Saturday writes Jason Quinn.
The School will be making history as they are the first to represent the College in Croke Park and will hope to emulate the class of ’98 and bring home the All-Ireland title for the second time. Holy Trinity’s opponents are no strangers to them as the reigning champions Ferbane College, from Offaly, beat these lads in the semi- final stage last year.
Captain of the School Michael Cassidy who hails from loughshore club Ardboe is looking forward to leading his side out in Croker.
“It’s a great achievement to be captain of this side, especially with it been the first time the school have got to play in Croke Park. It’s a great team and a great bunch of lads and hopefully we will get the victory we want but we know it will take a big improvement from our second half performance in our semi-final.”
On his sides disappointing second half display against Clonakilty, Cassidy says they will work hard in training this week to rectify that and are lucky to have two good managers on board. “We will focus in training on that second half performance against Clonakilty, we know it was no were near good enough and we have to up our game. We are lucky to have two great managers in Mr Canavan and Mr O’Donnell and they will put things right this week.”
Cassidy who showed great leadership on the field during Saturdays win and showed his versatility by lining out at half back, having previously played Full Forward in the Markey Cup final, believes his side have it in them to play to their full potential for sixty minutes, something in which they have struggled to deliver so far this year.
“The way we played in the first half against Clonakilty was excellent and that’s the way we aim to play for sixty minutes and I firmly believe that big performance is still in every one of our lads. Everyone battled well in the semi-final and even the encouragement from the substitute bench was brilliant as well. We will go down that road in good spirit and hopefully get the win we want.”
Cassidy’s analysis that his side must bring that first half intensity for sixty minutes rings so true and anything less may result in more heartache, for a determined and committed bunch of footballers, but on evidence throughout the year, this side should be more than capable of mixing it with Ferbane and reverse last year’s result and let Captain Cassidy climb the steps of the Hogan Stand and raise the silverware aloft for the Schools second time.