Cockhill Celtic will be aiming for a giant killing on Sunday as they welcome League of Ireland Premier Division side Limerick to Charlie O’Donnell Park for a hotly-anticipated FAI Cup clash.
In truth, the tie may come at an unfavourable time for the reigning Ulster Senior League champions as their season is yet to start and pre-season preparations in their infancy.
Despite all of this, it proves to be another colossal clash which is sure to attract a large crowd. However, manager Gavin Cullen fears the game may be coming at the wrong time of the season for his charges.
He said: “It is a massive occasion for us. Inishowen and Donegal sides don’t always get the opportunity every year to take on senior opposition. We are hoping for a big crowd and the players will really enjoy playing in the game.
“It is probably too competitive at this stage of the season as we are only two weeks into pre-season. It is probably too high of intensity and my main worry would be that we have a few injuries and we could pick up a few more.
“The timing is not exactly ideal for us, one month down the line we would really be relishing a clash like this.”
Cullen is hoping that his team’s style of play will endear them to the crowd and that they can once again acquit themselves well on the big stage.
“The players want and hope that there will be a big crowd,” he said. “We like to play football in the right manner and the local crowds turn out and watch it. We have some really good players but the timing is just not ideal for us.
“Thankfully, in the last six years we have played league of Ireland opposition once or even twice a year. We played Galway away in the EA Sports Cup last year in a very tight game that we lost 1-0.”
Cullen believes that games like Sunday and the big occasions can be lost on players during their playing careers, but he knows all too well that these tests are the memories each and every one of his players will cherish once they hang up their boots.
“The players won’t realise until they are retired what they have achieved, the big games they have played in and just how well they have acquitted themselves.”
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