Joe Garvey admits that he stepped into the unknown when he took on the job of managing the Michael Glaveys intermediate football team in 2007. ‘We (Joe and his two selectors) took on the job with the hope that we could improve on our performances in the intermediate championship over the past few years and in 2006 when we got to the quarter-final. I have to say we have exceeded all expectations getting to this final but it’s a tribute to the players themselves’ he said. ‘Things had gone downhill a bit in recent years and the numbers at training weren’t great and we just wanted to see if we could improve things. We are delighted at what has happened so far’ he said. Joe says that there were good signs from early in the year that things in the club were picking up. ‘We have a number of older players that have plenty of experience but the real bonus was the fact that we had three guys involved with the Roscommon minors this year. Darren O’Malley, Eugene Stritch and Kevin Cummins are a huge addition to our team this season’ he continued. Joe says that since Glaveys got through the first phase of the competition, things have improved steadily. ‘We were very happy with how we got on in our first two games and once we got to the quarter-finals it snowballed from there. However I have to once again pay tribute to the players who have worked so hard with myself, Ger Dowd and Johnny Coggins (selectors) over the whole season. Johnny Coggins has done mighty work this year. You get out of this game what you put in and the players have worked ever so hard’ he said. The fact that a lot of the players are based close enough to Ballinlough is a bonus. ‘We have a few lads travelling but most of the players are based close to home which is a great bonus for training and for playing the games’ the manager stated. Joe Garvey says that the Ballinlough club have been lucky enough with injuries in the run-up to the final. ‘We have a number of minor, niggly injuries, but nothing serious, so we are hoping we will have as near to a full team as possible’ he said. Joe says that the hard training that the Glaveys players have done is standing to them in their championship games so far. ‘We seem to improve as the games go on. Against Eire Og we were two points down but we came back to win by six, so that’s a good sign I suppose’ he says. He believes that St. Dominics will be extremely hard to beat in Sunday’s final. ‘We are under no illusions here. St. Dominics will be very, very hard to beat. They were only beaten in last year’s final after a replay and they are a big, strong team. We know if we don’t play well that we will not beat them. It’s as simple as that’ he says. Not surprisingly, Joe says that to bring the intermediate title back to Ballinlough next Sunday would be a huge boost for football in the area. ‘The club went down a bit after being a strong senior team for many years and to win on Sunday next would be a massive boost for football in the parish. It would be great to be competing at senior level next year. ‘We are expecting a tough game and as the old saying goes it will be all on the day. We will be happy to win by a point or two’ he concluded.