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Goal hero Furman is not afraid of anyone

PORTLAOISE may be old dogs for the provincial road, but Ballymun goal hero Ted Furman sees no reason why the Dublin champions - playing outside the capital for the first time in 27 years - can't create Leinster history on Sunday week, writes Frank Roche.

"I think we can beat anybody on our day," he declared, fresh from helping to set up a Leinster club SFC final showdown with Portlaoise on December 9.

While the Ballymun corner-forward was quick to highlight Portlaoise's credentials, as the winners of six straight Laois SFC titles, he reckons their own belief has been boosted by yesterday's events in Newbridge. They may have eclipsed Sarsfields by six points in the end, but only after earning victory the hard way.

"We've been doing it all year," Furman pointed out.

"As Paul (Curran) says, if we win by one or 21, it doesn't matter to us once we get over the line. And that's what we're doing. We'll beg, borrow or steal - once we're over the line, that's all we want."

Enthused

His aforementioned manager was equally enthused by the prospect of playing football in December. Asked if he expected such an eventuality when the season started, Curran deadpanned: "Well, yes and no. I suppose with the Dublin leagues the way they go, you're always playing some sort of football in December!

"But to be looking forward to a Leinster club final now on the ninth is terrific; it's a great place to be.

"There was no cups or anything given out today. We'll prepare as well for the next one as we did for this one, and take it from there."

He added: "It's all new to these fellas but it's still a game of football and they're good footballers, they're a good team.

"To be honest we won't be worrying too much about Portlaoise. We'll be trying to improve some aspects of our game for Sunday week, hopefully to get a better performance. We know in a Leinster club final the opposition is going to be quality.

"I don't think we'll be worried about the occasion or anything like that. I think winning the county was huge for us and we're looking forward to every game."

On the injury front, Derek Byrne and Elliott O'Reilly picked up knocks yesterday but Curran hopes to have a full deck to face Portlaoise. He's also thrilled to have Sean George back from suspension to bolster his defensive options; the Dublin U-21 All-Ireland winner had a 12-minute cameo off the bench against Sarsfields with Curran later proclaiming his return a "huge addition".


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