Dromard captain Jamsie Martin admitted that his side have surprised themselves by getting to the county final.
The North Longford side are competing in their first senior football championship decider since 2010 and for Martin and the rest of the squad that fine achievement this season was unexpected.
“When you consider the players we have lost from last year’s panel and the way the league has been going for us this year we felt the writing was on the wall for our senior championship challenge and that it would be stopping short of a final appearance. Having said that, it is nice to be back in a final even if it is unexpected,” he told the Leader.
When the quarter-finals for the knock-out stages of the championship were known Jamsie believed any of the teams on Dromard’s side had a great chance of making the final.
“On our side of the draw everyone had an equal chance of getting through to the final but going into the Mostrim game it must be said that they were the form team in both the championship and league.
They looked organised, were sharp and on the upward trend. They were a big problem for us considering they had beaten us in the league as well. We were apprehensive about that and then Abbeylara had beaten us in the league as well and they are always difficult opponents in the championship.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s big game the Dromard captain knows only too well the challenge that lies ahead for them. He said: “We have a tough task ahead of us to give Slashers a competitive game. They are going into the final as favourites and have been the most consistent team in Longford over the last number of years.”
Slashers record in recent years is down to one person, according to Martin, and that is Denis Connerton. Having played under him (Dromard’s senior title triumph back in 1999) he knows all about the Lanesboro man.
“Denis has been consistently one of the best managers in club football over the last 10 years. He is an exceptional coach; extremely well organised and no stone is left unturned. He does a good job no matter what and has been a big driving force for Slashers. It is not by chance that Slashers are playing in their fourth county final in a row with Denis at the helm.”
The vastly experienced forward has been playing with Dromard since 1997 and is still putting in impressive displays. He loves the way his football has been going of late and has no intention of hanging up the boots anytime soon.
“Football will have to quit me before I quit football,” joked Martin. “I have been happy with how I am playing in the championship, even if there are no ground breaking performances. I train hard and look after myself. All you want to do is to play games and go about it injury free.”