Cherrie expecting physical battle on Sunday

Padraig Whelan

Reporter:

Padraig Whelan

Cherrie expecting physical battle on Sunday
Dundalk goalkeeper Peter Cherrie is relishing the chance to play his part in delivering a first FAI Cup final appearance for the club in 11 years.

Dundalk goalkeeper Peter Cherrie is relishing the chance to play his part in delivering a first FAI Cup final appearance for the club in 11 years.

His team take on beaten EA Sports Cup finalists Drogheda United away from home on Sunday and he is expecting another tough contest but is out for glory given how much it would mean to fans.

“We are really, really looking forward to it because these are the kind of big games that you enjoy playing in,” said the Scottish star.

“We know what to expect from Drogheda because they have been a tough team for us to play against this season as we saw a few weeks ago at Oriel.

“They are a big, physical team and we certainly know that it won’t be an easy game for us.”

However, the prospect of what lies in store for The Town with a win at Hunky Dorys Park this Sunday afternoon should spur them on to a big performance, he feels.

Dundalk are bidding to reach their first Blue Riband final since 2002, when they stunned hot favourites Bohemians to bring the trophy northwards.

Cherrie continued: “We know what the chance of playing in a final would mean.

“It would mean so much to everyone and we would take the guts of eight or nine thousand up to the Aviva for such a game and the whole squad are looking forward to that challenge [of trying to get Dundalk there] but we know that it will be a tight, close game.

“But we know what it would mean to this club, for us and the fans to get to that final so we will give it our best to get there and give everyone something to cheer.”

The Lilywhites 3-0 dismantling of Derry City last Monday night at home, thanks to Richie Towell’s superb hat-trick, ensured that Dundalk will once again be playing European football next season.

This will be their first continental adventure since 2010 when they last graced the Europa League, knocking out Luxembourg’s CS Grevenmacher in a 5-4 aggreggate thriller before being eliminated by Bulgarian powerhouse Levski Sofia.

Cherrie, along with Tiarnan Mulvenna and Stephen McDonnell, are the only surviving members of those sides and he admits that the occasions bring back fond memories.

“Those were great games and it was really good being able to go in there and play against these European sides and the trips to Luxembourg and Bulgaria were also really enjoyable so that brings back a lot of goof memories for me personally,” he continued.

It was also the former Clyde man who was chosen as the Dundalk representative to partake in an underwear shoot for a calendar at the Aviva last week in aid of Gary O’Neill as he and other League of Ireland stars lined out in their y-fronts to raise money.

The proceeds from the calendar will go towards helping with the medical costs for the Drogheda striker and although he admits it wouldn’t be his his cup of tea, he was certainly glad to have played his part.

“What happened was I got a call from James Chambers of Shamrock Rovers and he told me about the plan for this photo shoot and to be honest, it wouldn’t be my thing going about in your underwear but if you can’t do something like that for Gary then you shouldn’t be in the game so it was good to do it,” concluded the ‘keeper.