Firhouse on the brink

FIRHOUSE Clover manager Keith Baker will lead his side into this season’s FAI Intermediate Cup Final against Maynooth University in the Aviva Stadium today, and insists he wants his players relishing this type of an experience on a regular basis.

The club has been knocking on the door of a big day out in this competition over recent years and finally secured it last month by way of a 2-0 victory over Letterkenny Rovers in the semi finals.

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Firhouse Clover manager Keith Baker, left, and Maynoot University Town manager Barry Prendeville, right

Standing in their way of the coveted prize is a Maynooth team that Firhouse already beat comfortably in Round Two of the Metropolitan Cup.

Yet Baker and his side will not be taking the challenge lightly and will be eager to get their hands on this piece of silverware in the hope of starting to establish Firhouse as serial winners at this level.

“The players have worked hard to get here, but we want to be back challenging for this every season like the Crumlins and the Bluebells. That’s where we want to be,” Baker told The Echo.

“It’s hard and it’s going to take time, but we have a young management team in place and a young squad so we want to be challenging for everything. We don’t want to be just a one-season wonder.

“It’s huge for the area. We got 400 tickets and they were gone the next day between the players’ family and friends. We got another 150 and they went too so we expect to have between 800 and 900 going,” he said.

Since their semi final win over Letterkenny, Firhouse have enjoyed a positive run, save for their FAI Cup exit at the hands of Dublin Bus.

Really poor

“We were really poor against Dublin Bus in the FAI Cup preliminary round,” recalled Baker.

“After that match we stayed out on the pitch for about 45 minutes and just let everyone talk. We all knew that wasn’t good enough and I told them we can’t just turn the performances on and off.

“I told them the final will take care of itself, we’ve got to concentrate on the games we’re playing because the last thing you want is to have a bad run of form coming into the final. Thankfully we have remained unbeaten since.

“We beat Greystone and drew with Newbridge. Last Saturday we played Killester and won 2-0. Only two players that started in the semi final started that match, the rest were made up of fringe players and players from our Saturday team, so it was great to get that result,” he said.

Another positive from that game was that Rory O’Connor who had not played since scoring in the semi final, featured for 60 minutes in the Killester match in which he was also back on target.

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