Woodview Celtic host what many people consider to be the top junior football side in the country on Thursday night when they face Sheriff Youth Club in the second round of the Leinster Senior Cup at Glenmuir Park.
Gavin McKeever’s side qualified for the competition by winning last season’s MDL Premier Division title and, speaking ahead of the encounter, the Woodview boss said his players were relishing the opportunity to test themselves against the best there is.
“We beat Clontarf in the first round but we knew before that game that the winners would play Sheriff in the next stage,” he explained.
“It gave us extra determination to get through. The lads have been talking about this game ever since we beat Clontarf. It is a big test but we are really looking forward to it.”
There are not too many teams who would take enjoyment from facing Sheriff. Alan Reilly’s men won the treble last year - the AUL Premier Division, the Leinster Junior Cup and the AUL Liddy Cup - and won a clean sweep of five trophies in 2013. They have also won the AUL for the past four seasons.
McKeever, though, said his players wouldn’t be phased by their opponents.
“This is a big competition for Sheriff and they will probably feel that they are a step above junior football but if we start the game well then there is no reason we can’t give them as good a game as they’ve had in recent seasons.
“There shouldn’t be any stage fright from our lads,” he continued. “We have players like Chris Caulfield, Mickey O’Kane, Johnny Lynch and Stephen Fisher in our team, really top, top players. If we can match the effort of Sheriff, then we can do it.”
Caulfield will miss the game as he is on holidays but, otherwise, McKeever will have a strong squad to choose from. It has the potential to be a cracking encounter and with that in mind McKeever has called on the footballing public to get behind his team.
“If we could get a big crowd to support us on Thursday night then it will really help us,” he said.
“Not only are we representing Woodview Celtic, we are also representing Dundalk and the Meath and District League.”