There’ll be no shutting up shop and trying to weather the storm this Sunday. Perish the thought that Colin Kelly will set his team out to defend their way to victory. There’s only one way to play football in Kelly’s mind - on the front foot.
Against Gaels in the semi final, Dreadnots eventually broke down a dog tough outfit playing a more Ulster-style game. Pat’s won’t be quite that defensive, but they’re still the top dogs for a reason.
“It’s a different challenge”, Kelly admits. “But we’ll go about it the way we’ve always gone about things, we’ll encourage them to be as progressive as they can and get as many scoring opportunities as we can and keep going the right way about things. You’re underdogs for a reason.”
They received a lot of credit for their battling display against Pat’s in the group stage. But Kelly cares little for that kind of praise - a defeat is a defeat - simple as.
“Obviously we’ll go in as underdogs. If you go in as underdogs it means you’re not as good as them and that’s pure and simple - all you have to do is look at their record. I suppose we had moral victory in the group stage, but moral victories count for nothing. At the end of the day Pat’s ended up convincing winners”, adds Kelly matter of factly.
He might not have been there with them in 2012, but Kelly doesn’t pay much heed to history lessons anyway. In his mind the past is a foreign country.
“You can have good and bad experiences, but from my point of view history won’t effect the result”, he states. “The players are the same, some of them are playing in different positions, some of them are a couple of years older. We’re probably used to winning now. We’ve won a lot of games this year. Our win ratio is high, that’s what we set out to do at the start of the year. And we’re in the final with a chance.”
As good and experienced as the Pat’s players are, Kelly knows full well that his side have had their fair share of big days out and they have the necessary grit to win titles.
“There’s no disputing the qualities the Pat’s have. They’ve some real quality footballers. They’re strong and experienced. This is our second final. We’ve played in a Cardinal O’Donnell final. A lot of these lads have been in minor finals, so they’ve been about the block and that would also suggest they’re good players.”
The phoney war is over in Kelly’s mind, let battle commence.