Tuesday 27 September 2016

Breffni boys ready for their shot at the big time - Brady

Published 31/03/2016 | 02:30

Cavan's Killian Brady. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Cavan's Killian Brady. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

At half-time in their round-three game in Navan, not many around Cavan would have suggested that promotion would be in their hands heading into the last round of games.

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If anything, Terry Hyland's side looked to be headed back down to Division 3. They had lost their opening two games and they trailed Meath by seven points. But in one 35-minute blitz, they turned their league season on its head.

"We probably went in maybe wondering how we got ourselves in that position because we had been so competitive in the first two games, although we lost them," defender Killian Brady recalls.

"To find ourselves seven points down at half-time wasn't maybe a position we were familiar with. But look, Terry sat us down. We knew there was only a couple of things we needed to get right. We obviously got that goal early in the second half to set us up. We were only two scores away from getting back in the game ... A lot of it was confidence."

Shifted

Cavan had their Road to Damascus moment in Navan and haven't looked back since. Their style of football has shifted considerably, too. While once described by Joe Brolly as the 'Black Death', Cavan are the fourth-highest scorers across the four divisions and only Antrim, who are unbeaten in Division 4, have a superior score difference.

"We'd be very confident in our defensive abilities, going man for man we'd be very confident taking on anyone.

"When you set up strong at the back, you can maybe push on an extra guy and that's helped in terms of getting a few more scores on the board. People probably talk about us changing our style but what's changed, I think, is our transition. We've always had pace, we probably are using that pace a lot more now and getting guys ahead of the ball."

If they beat Galway at home on Sunday, they will be promoted. Twelve months ago, they had a chance to go up on the last day but were foiled. But having emerged from Division Three with high-flying Roscommon in 2014, Brady believes they are ready for the big time.

"I think Roscommon have proven that this year, they made the same jump. They went from Division 3 the same as us and have gone up to Division One this year and they're flying it up there. We believe we have a good enough squad as well. There's definitely no fear factor within the group.

"Probably the last few performances have given us even more belief. We won't be playing any of the top eight teams until maybe the championship so we won't be thinking about next year or Division 1. All we're thinking about is next weekend."

Irish Independent

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