Bluebell United looking to lift trophy on partisan grounds
AHEAD of the FAI Centenary Intermediate Cup final on Saturday between Rockmount and Bluebell United, we spoke to both Bluebell’s Shane Dolan and Tayem Dinamumenga.
Bluebell United captain Tayem Dinamumenga believes his side have built the mental toughness required to get over the line today in the FAI 2021/22 Centenary Intermediate Cup final.
Bluebell United travel to Turners Cross looking to overcome local favourites Rockmount after a fantastic run to the final which included that 2-0 win over St. Francis in the semi-final.
Having returned to the club in the summer after a spell with Lucan United, Dinamumenga has led the club on quite a turbulent campaign but he has admitted his pride in the young squad he leads.
“This season has been an incredible journey and from where we started this season to where we are now, going into a national final, is an incredible achievement from the entire squad,” said Dinamumenga.
“We’re also really aware of how important it is for the club and the community to reach the final after a few years and what a lift it gives everyone so we want to make it a special occasion for everyone at the club.
“For a lot of the players in our club, they’re quite new players and new players to Leinster Senior football as well, so to get to this level is a huge achievement and it is probably the biggest occasion in their career so far. It is one of the biggest occasions for me and I’ve played Leinster Senior for a good bit so there is excitement, huge excitement.”
Bluebell had a major rebuilding job on after last season with only a handful of players contracted to the club and most of the squad was made up of new recruits from a variety of different levels and clubs.
As Dinamumenga explains, it hasn’t been easy this season but he believes the squad is well placed to lift the trophy if they put it ‘all on the line’ at Turners Cross today.
“In the first half of the season, we went through a period where we lost about six games on the trot and that is where your true character comes out. It is that mental battle, the tough periods, the determination, the will and the desire which will get you across the tough periods and that’s why we’re here today,” continued Dinamumenga.
“Football has taught me a lot about life and I think this season has taught a lot of the players a lot about life, about persevering in the tough times. We had to dig deep, especially in pre-season, we dug deep during the Christmas period as well. A lot of hard work on the training pitch, off the ball, building that hunger and desire.
“From the level we’ve come from to now, it is absolutely tremendous. We’ve build the mental character and toughness we’ve what we’ve gone through to prepare for what we need to do today. We need to leave everything on the line, give 100% and we’ll come away with the victory if we do that.”
Dolan admits mind games ahead of final
In the two sides’ previous meeting, both managers would probably admit they were trying to keep their cards close to their chest…
Bluebell United manager Shane Dolan admits there were a fair amount of mind games between the two clubs ahead of today’s FAI Centenary Intermediate Cup final.
Bluebell travel to today’s final for their first Intermediate Cup final appearance since 2013, where they suffered a 4-1 defeat to Avondale United.
Dolan was given the difficult task of rebuilding the club last summer with just two players contracted at the time but since that period, Bluebell have enjoyed a wonderful run in this competition and have also qualified for the first round of the FAI Senior Cup proper.
Dolan, who also reflected on a entertaining 2-0 win over St. Francis in the semi-final, hopes the volunteers at the club enjoy the day just as much as the players.
“It’s great and I’m delighted for everybody associated with the club, not just the players but we’ve got a trusty band of volunteers who have put their heart and soul into the club and they deserve the recognition for their work ahead of a big day like this,” said Dolan.
“The semi-final was a bit of a strange one really because we were largely kind of favourites going into the game playing a team who were two leagues below but we knew how dangerous they could be. We took our chances on the day but it was a tense affair. The supporters really got behind it and made it a different experience which was great for the players.
“It is my first year in management and of course we played Rockmount recently so I was asking some friends in the game, people I know with a bit of experience, looking for a bit of advice because we didn’t want to give too much away really.”
Bluebell faced Rockmount in a FAI Senior Cup preliminary round match where they won 3-1, but Dolan admits that the match maybe wasn’t a true representation of both teams’ true qualities and he is expecting a different match today.
“To get into the first round of the FAI Cup is huge for the club and we’ll hopefully get a big draw but I’m sure Eddie (Kenny) will tell you, strange game really. They rested a couple, I rested five or six, left a couple of lads out and it was almost like a game of chess really. Didn’t want to show your hands too soon.
“We knew it was going to be tough as Rockmount haven’t been beaten all season in any of their local cups or their league which shows their strength. But I know that we’ve got a good quality squad in depth and I backed the players who came into the game to get the job done and they did.
“In terms of the final, I know Rockmount will be a different animal and so will we, so I don’t image that match to have any bearing. It is a cup game, a final, so the only thing that matters on the day is getting that trophy. The performances go out of the window, all that matters is we leave everything out there and we’ll be proud of the players no matter what.”