STRABANE Sigersons manager Eamon McGowan is ‘under no illusions’ about the scale of the task his side faces in the opening round of the LCC Group Tyrone Intermediate Championship in Omagh tonight.
His ‘consistently inconsistent’ team face runaway division two leaders, Galbally, in what, on paper at least, seems to be a bit of a mismatch.
“It’s a nice handy one to start off,” he joked. “It’s a tough draw! They are the favourites for the Championship outright, I think.
“They have played 10, won 10 in the league, are top scorers and have the tightest defence, so we’re under no illusions that we’re up against it, we know that.”
As if facing a Galbally side, who have enjoyed a perfect start to the season, isn’t hard enough, Strabane will have to do so without four players who are suspended for the game after last season’s incident with Stewartstown.
It was last September during a Championship match at Healy Park that violence broke out between Stewartstown and Sigersons, who had come back from six points behind to level matters. Both sets of players, including substitutes, were involved in a brawl, before the east Tyrone side managed to seal their win.
Having put that incident behind them, Sigersons are hoping the talk after Sunday’s game is about the result but McGowan admits it’s going to take something special for that to happen.
However, he’s hoping the younger members of his squad will rise to the occasion and achieve a result that might just ignite their season.
“We’re struggling with four men out after the Stewartstown incident last year but it’s the chance for some of the younger lads to step up and get the experience of Championship football and see what it’s all about.
“We’ve been consistently inconsistent season, that would be the perfect way to describe it. It’s been up and down with a lot of disruption due to players traveling abroad and working away, holidays and a lot of injuries.
“But the boys are working away and have their heads down. Championship football always creates a buzz, it’s a one-off, knockout game so that’s what we’re hoping for.
“It’s an uphill task but a lot of the younger boys will be given the opportunity to step up and experience Championship football and you know young boys these days, they probably play with no nerves so we’ll give it a rattle and see how we get on!
“It would be a massive shock because there’s not a man in the county giving us a hope in hell, but we just have to set our stall out and get our own game plan sorted and give the best account we can.”