All we are missing is the Fahy Cup’ – Burke

Wally Burke is the St. Faithleachs team manager and as passionate a Faithleachs man as you could find anywhere. He has now taken the Ballyleague men to two finals, losing narrowly last year. They are back this year attempting to reverse last year’s result against St. Brigids. Faithleachs have had an excellent campaign, impressing in almost every game except for a group game against Kilmore when they were beaten by the home side by six points.   Wally agrees that overall it has been a very good campaign for St. Faithleachs. "We began very well against Castlerea but we got our backsides kicked against Kilmore. That’s a hard place to go to get a result and we played poorly that day, and we paid the price, but maybe it was just the lesson that we needed to learn’ he comments.    He agrees that Faithleachs seem to be getting stronger with each outing. "Yes, I’ve been very happy with the way we have progressed. We are getting fitter and stronger but having said all that this final against St. Brigids is a huge step up again. Remember that not alone are they county champions, they are Connacht champions as well and they have improved from last year too.’   Does he feel that Faithleachs have a much stronger panel this year? ‘We have more options surely. Stevie Ormsby is back full-time this year, Tom Ryan is fully fit, Pete Mahon has come in from St. Croan’s, Brendan Reynolds is back too, so we have more players to choose from which is a great asset to the overall team’.    Does the fact that they were so close to St. Brigids in last year’s final make any difference to Sunday’s game?    ‘Not a bit, the conditions were windy last year and although we battled away –  especially after they got the goal after half time – it will mean nothing on Sunday, which is a totally different day.’   Wally says that the preparations for this championship season were different from the last few years and it has helped freshen up the side. ‘We went into the boxing club in Lanesboro at the start of the year (to the gym) and we didn’t play any football at all until March. In fact we lost our first three league games but we didn’t really mind that because we knew that we were getting ready for the  championship all along.’   The manager says that while they will be going all out to win the final on Sunday they have the utmost respect for St. Brigids. ‘It’s a simple fact that St. Brigids are the benchmark for every other club in the county now – on and off the pitch – and every other club have to try and emulate them.    ‘We know what we are facing – Brigids are the Connacht champions and are a better team than last year. However we think we have improved too. We are not going into Roscommon on Sunday to make up the numbers. If we play well enough to win on the day, then great. That’s what we are aiming for. We will have to play well to do it and we know that’ he said   ‘We have opened massive new facilities at this club here this year. We will be starting our new dressingrooms soon too so all we are missing is the Fahy Cup now. It would be nice if it was here on Sunday night’ he concluded.