His four frees contributed to Dreadnots semi final victory over Newtown Blues, but standing in the fading light of Dromiskin afterwards, the one word that stood out when James Califf spoke was “belief” and his team certainly showed plenty of it on Sunday evening.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable. We knew it was going to be tough against the Blues, they’re a solid senior team and we knew we were going to be up against it. But there has been a belief in this team all year.
The Dreadnots midfielder alluded to the great work put in by manager Paddy Clarke in the build up to this year’s championship.
“Paddy Clarke has been super all year. He’s put that belief in us and now we’re there in the final with the big boys. It’s a great experience for such a young team as well.
“We weren’t looking any further than today. We were just taking it one step at a time. We knew if we worked hard we were always going to have a chance.”
With St Patricks awaiting them in the final, the Clogherhead men will put it up to the Lorship outfit according to Califf.
“It’s all new to us but we’re going to go and give a good shot in the final.”
Going in as underdogs it was going to take a mental toughness to see them past the finishing line, especially in those frantic dying moments.
“We knew we weren’t going to run away with it. A team like the Blues have been there in the final last year and we knew it was going to be tough from the very start,” explained Califf.
“But this is our forth week playing now, we’ve had championship games every week because of a replay as well and momentum has brought us through.”
Reflecting on their previous meeting with the Pats earlier in the championship, Califf was under no illusions about the size of the task at hand, but equally that defeat would not hinder their preparations.
“We’re in the final now, but nothing is won. We’ve played the Pats before earlier in the championship and it was very tough. We’ll sit down and have a chat about it.
“We’ve three weeks now to prepare for it and we know we can put it up to the Pats, especially after the group stage. We didn’t play well against them in that group match and our championship only started after the Mairtins game. Paddy will leave no stone unturned going into the final.”