Can underdogs upset the champions?

Football is a peculiar game at the best of times. Many games have been won and lost by the kick of a ball but even more of them have been won and lost before a single ball has even been kicked. The reason? Mindset and attitude.   This is all that stands in the way of St. Faithleachs capturing their first Senior County Championship title in over two decades. They have the players, they have the experience, now all they need is to adopt the proper mentality when the ball is thrown in this Sunday.   Of course they will respect St. Brigid’s. They are, after all, the current county and provincial champions. But they should not fear their counterparts from Kiltoom as this could lead to the same result as last year being fashioned – a result which still haunts the Ballyleague faithful.   So how can St. Faithleach’s win this county final? Some of these answers are obvious. Dominate midfield, prevent quality ball going into St. Brigid’s forwards, maximise Enda Kenny’s influence on proceedings and curb the threat of Frankie Dolan on the ’40. These aspects will have a major bearing on the result but in my opinion the real battle will take place upstairs, in the heads of all the players.   If St. Faithleach’s have the self-belief and self-confidence that their day has finally arrived then they are in with a great chance of lifting the Fahy Cup -but if they show too much respect to the men from St. Brigid’s then it will be a case of déjà vu. Good teams can sense fear and feed off it so St. Faithleach’s will have to ensure that they stand toe to toe with their rivals on Sunday.   St. Brigid’s have been the benchmark which the clubs in the rest of the county have being trying to follow but I believe this Sunday will mark a new era for football in the county as I think St. Faithleachs will dethrone the current champions – but only if their heads are right.