WHILE much of the interest in relation to the Spa team falls to their Kerry Junior contingent of Andrew Garnett, Niall O'Mahony and Mike O'Donoghue, there is a strong core of players there like Hugh O'Donoghue who have grafted away all year in anticipation of the club's biggest game since they ventured to Croke Park back in February 2010.
Despite the wait the club have had, O'Donoghue says the focus has remained sharp all year.
"We have had fellas coming and going all year with the Kerry Juniors and East Kerry but the one thing I think we've done well is switching our focus throughout the year. After we made the final and knew it would be a while before it would be played, management told us to switch the focus to the County League and concentrate on maintaining our status which we have thankfully done. We've had the East Kerry Championship as well to keep us ticking over so I think we've managed to balance everything well so far," he told
O'Donoghue feels the revolving nature of Spa's panel with other commitments has brought some of the fringe players on.
"When Niall, Andrew and Mike were away we had some other players come in and do well in their positions and that only made the boys more competitive when they came back training and the hunger is still very much there by the three lads regardless of winning the All-Ireland with the Kerry Juniors this year," the Spa defender said.
There are one or two injury concerns for the East Kerry side however heading into Sunday's final. "Both Niall (O'Mahony) and Damien O'Sullivan are having a few problems with their ankles while Brian Russell is struggling with his hamstring but it would be a huge boost for us if they all came through as Aidan Cahill's loss through injury was a setback for us at the outset," O'Donoghue said.
The Spa defender is very conscious of the challenge that Finuge are likely to present in the Final and feels Austin Stack Park will take a bit of familiarising for the team.
"We haven't played there too often, I've only played their twice myself as a player and it will feel a bit different than Killarney but its still a good pitch to play on and we'll forget about that come the throw-in," he said.
There is still a desire to make right the defeat to Cookstown of Tyrone in the 2010 All-Ireland Intermediate Final according to O'Donoghue but that's not of immediate concern ahead of Sunday.
"Everyone knows we would love to get back there but we have to focus on Finuge because it is a tough enough job getting out of Kerry for any side. They have plenty of experience of big encounters in their ranks and not just Paul Galvin and Eamonn Fitzmaurice. However we hope that the tight nature of the matches we have had in this competition so far will stand to us in the end."