Saturday 24 March 2018

Promotion the priority for Cassidy ahead of Cup final

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

A RINGSEND native whose family is steeped in Shelbourne history and who grew up across the street from Lansdowne Road and beside the club's original home, there can be no better man to lead the Reds out at the Aviva Stadium next month than David Cassidy.

The attacking midfielder scored his side's third goal in their 3-1 replay win over St Patrick's Athletic on Monday night, as they clinched a first FAI Ford Cup final place since 2000.

But before he turns his attention a dream date so close to home, Cassidy and the Shels camp want to ensure that playing in big occasions, like the back-to-back Dublin derbies they have just come through, becomes a regular event next season.

They have three games to secure promotion, and the stand-in captain wants his team-mates to put their big day out on November 6 to the back of their minds.

"This would mean absolutely nothing if we didn't get promotion," he said.

"I think it just shows everyone that this is a Premier Division club, that the players we have are Premier players and we feel confident taking on anyone in the Premier.

"We'll enjoy the Cup final. I'm sure the fans and our families will also enjoy it, but we've got three other cup finals before the one at the Aviva.

"It's Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday and we have to put the Cup final completely to the back of our heads for the moment.

"How disappointing would it be to get to a Cup final and not get this club back to these nights -- and back to where it belongs?"

Shelbourne are third in the First Division with a game in hand -- against Finn Harps -- over leaders Monaghan and second-placed Cork City.

They play Salthill Devon on Saturday and Harps next Tuesday before a potential winner-takes-all clash with Cork on October 29.

"We know what it's all about. This club is in the wrong league and we need to get this club back to where it belongs," Cassidy added.

"I'm sure that if we play football like we did against St Pat's in our last three league games, we'll have no problems whatsoever."

Irish Independent

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