Oliver Bond Celtic face a David v Goliath clash against Derry City in the FAI Cup first round, and defender Carl Bateman is pleased it will “enhance the club’s profile.”
In one of three ties where a Premier Division club faces a non-league side, Bateman spoke of his delight about the clash, adding that the Leinster Senior League outfit will bring a big crowd up to the Brandywell next month.
“It's a great draw to get,” said Bateman. “We definitely won’t be going there hoping to keep the score down. Let’s be honest, they are down to beat us, but we’ll give them a good game.
"We’ll have a good day out. We’re only going a couple of years so this will enhance the club’s profile again playing the likes of Derry.”
The 33-year-old grew up with St Patrick’s Athletic star Chris Forrester and thinks playing street football growing up has benefited the midfielder greatly.
“He’s from Queen Street and I'm from Oliver Bond. We would have played five-a-side against him, which is not a good experience let me tell you.”
“It was a great goal,” Bateman said, reflecting on Forrester’s spectacular extra-time strike in last year’s showpiece.
“Chris is a great player. He’s a street footballer. He’s probably one of the best players in the League of Ireland that we have produced in the last ten years I'd say.”
Also speaking at yesterday’s draw was Finglas United’s Ealish Murray. They too face a mammoth task against two-time champions Peamount United. Murray spoke of her delight about the growing coverage for the women’s game, and the impact it has on younger girls.
“It’s a bit surreal,” said Murray. “It's fantastic that the women's game is being promoted like this and people are talking about it. Girls are looking up to their idols. They used to have the men's names on the back of their jerseys, now they have girls' names on the back.
"Katie McCabe is unbelievable. I played against Katie since she was a kid and she's doing amazing at Arsenal. She's a great ambassador and role model. You can see women's footballers are getting the recognition they deserve, on billboards and on TV.”
Despite being underdogs, Murray's side are determined to make it difficult for Peamount, who boast Ireland internationals like Aine O’Gorman and Stephanie Roche.
“I'm not one for thinking we're going to get beaten,” Murray continued.
“Once we have our players fit, we have the strength in depth in our team and our mentality is strong. I think if we show up and do what we're doing, anything can happen on the day.”