YOU hear a lot of colourful descriptions about long waits, but Na Gaeil manager Mark Bourke certainly gave a very different description of how he has found the 23 week wait for Saturday Junior Final.
"It's like waiting for a baby to come out when you're pregnant and once the due date comes up you can't stop the train that's coming! I think 11 days notice after waiting over five months is very unfair, another week would have been better but we just have to get on with it at this stage," he said.
It does seem like a different campaign since Na Gaeil got the better of their St Brendans neighbours St Pats in the semi-final on the May Bank Holiday Sunday, but the Tralee side are in a slightly better position personnel wise than they were back then.
"Declan Doody and Eoin O'Neill never played that game, while Dan O'Connor only came on for a few minutes so we are in a slightly better position on that front. Declan has a bit of a knock going into this and we've concerns about Colm Lyons and David Ross, but we're hopeful that's all the concerns that we'll be carrying into the final," the Na Gaeil manager said.
During the long wait, promotion to Division Three of the County League was the main priority for the 2010 Novice Champions but defeat to the team they defeated in that final, Listry would seem to have scuppered their hopes on that front, something the manager puts down to Saturday's match in Fitzgerald Stadium.
"We always had this game at the back of our minds, when would it be played, how long is that away etc. The lads were committed and focussed all the way through the summer when it was looking like late August but being put back again was another disappointment and I think it caught up with us against Listry in the County League," Bourke said.
At the same time, the Na Gaeil manager believes the last gasp nature of their victories over Ballyduff and Tuosist the opening rounds, coupled with a big scalp in the form of St Pats give them cause for optimism.
"You do get great confidence from those victories but at the same time we're mindful of the fact that this is a Division Two vs. a Division Four team and Kenmare have strong players of inter-county standard in their ranks.
No Division Four team has ever won a Junior title and that is a nice carrot in itself for us to try and achieve on Saturday," he said.
On the challenge ahead of them, Bourke believes one area of the pitch in particular will be crucial to the outcome of the final. "If our defence can keep hold of their forwards and we get enough of breaking ball I think we have a platform to work from but this is certainly the biggest test that this team will face and we know how big an ask it is."