Saturday 24 August 2019

Massive buzz in town ahead of glamour tie

FAI Senior Cup First Round

Paul Byrne

It's all systems go for Glebe North ahead of their glamour FAI Cup tie against Sligo Rovers at Market Green this weekend.

Plenty of effort has been going on behind the scenes at the club to ensure that their home pitch is fit to hold the match and that hard work was not in vain, with the FAI giving the club the green light last week.

It's exactly 25 years since Glebe reached the second round of the FAI Cup and they will be hoping to pull off a seismic shock to repeat that feat this Friday evening against the five-time Cup winners Sligo Rovers.

Glebe beat Whitehall Rangers back in 1994 to reach the second round of the cup, but their journey ended at the next stage when two late goals from Home Farm saw the Fingal side exit the competition.

According to Glebe chairman Hugh Reilly, interest around Balbriggan is ramping up as kick-off for the big game edges closer.

"There's a huge buzz around the town and I'm getting stopped every single day with people asking me about tickets. It's going to be an all-ticket affair and we've printed out about 500 which we expect will all be sold.

'It costs just a tenner for adults and half that for OAPs, while children under-16 get in free. Tickets are available in shops all around town and also from any committee member,' explained Hugh.

'We received the news last week from the FAI that Market Green passed the FAI inspection and that was thanks to the hard work done by members of the club.

'The place is looking great and the pitch is in immaculate condition, so we look forward to welcoming Sligo next Friday.

'The main thing we had to sort out was to ensure that members of the press had an unobstructed view of the game and once we got that sorted we were always confident that we would pass the inspection.

'They are a very good team and have great pedigree in this competition, winning it five times, including three times in this decade. But that's what we wanted from the draw. We wanted a home game against a big team from the Premier Division and that's exactly what we got.

'When I was playing for Glebe in the 70s and 80s it was a bit harder to qualify for the FAI Cup as you had to reach the last four of the Intermediate Cup. We never really got the chance to play any of the big boys competitively, so it's great to be still involved with the club and be able to look forward to a game like this.

'We'll also have my old teammate Oliver Adamson, who played with Glebe back in the 80s before being signed by Sligo, so he'll be here to see both his old teams.

'We're all really looking forward to what is sure to be a great occasion for the community. Of course we are massive underdogs, but we will give it our all and with a bit of luck maybe we can give them a bit of a scare.'

Fingal Independent