With the countdown well and truly underway ahead of Saturdays Celebrity Bainisteoir clash between Dromahair and Dalkey, Katherine Lynch feels that the team are ready for the challenge that lies in waiting.
Having presided over a rigorous training session along with sports psychologist Kevin Clancy, which saw the Dromahair players shadow box and wrestle with one another before playing a training match and then some tough sprinting exercises, Katherine said "I think weve done our bit. Dromahair and all the boys have done their bit.
"Theyre fit and they believe in themselves. Theyre to go to Dublin knowing that they have as much right to win as Cuala and I think thats all they can do. The rest is doing your best on the pitch and they will do that."
Briefly, the thought of defeat entered her head, but it quickly disappeared as she thought out loud: "If by any chance, by any strange chance… No. Theres no chance of it, theyre winners."
To a large extent the novelty of Katherine Lynch, the celebrity arriving in Dromahair, has worn off and she and the players have been able to get down to some serious work and it seems as though shes really enjoyed her Managerial role.
"Its great and where I wasnt strong I brought in help. Today I was worried because Im a Leitrim person myself so my psyche is similar to the lads you know, with the underdogs.
"We know in the back of our heads that were fit for the Dublin team and now we definitely know. Everybody will be going to Dublin with a winning mindset," said Katherine who brought in sports psychologist Kevin Clancy to ensure the players are in the right frame of mind as they take the pitch next Saturday.
"I was thinking what can I do to get rid of any negative psyche and I thought why dont I get them a sports psychologist. When I rang the Celebrity Bainisteoir crew about it, they were delighted and thought it was a great idea."
Asked about which players caught her eye, Katherine was reluctant to pick out favourites but there were a few names that sprang to mind. "Theyre all brilliant and theyre all working together as a team.
"I love Sundance (David) Cassidy, Sundance Kid Im calling him. I love Paddy (McGowan), I love Christy (McGowan), I love Trout (Terrence Leyden). I love all of them, some of them Im forgetting their names.
"Im really lucky to have them and really lucky to have Mickey Quinn as a mentor. Mickey gave me a bit of take it more seriously Katherine talk last week. I am taking seriously, I couldnt be taking it more seriously. I wake up in the night thinking, what can I do for the lads.
Focusing on the game against the George Hook managed Cuala, Katherine believes that the players will be totally focussed on the job in hand and the fact that they are making a television programme which will be watched by hundreds of thousands wont be a factor.
"I dont think theyre going to be intimidated by the cameras at all. I think here we have such an advantage that we have the history of football. We have ancestors behind us, we have present players with us and we have children to prove to.
It’s the passion in Dromahair for football.
Everyone has been so fantastic. I was up with Trout’s mother and father, Ann and Terry Leyden and took a walk around the Abbey and talked about the history and culture of Dromahair.
“Terry was fantastic and he said that a lot of the time you come home from matches not winning but the Dromahair people get up again, build it up again, fight again and get out there again. I think all that will stand to us in this particular style of league.
With only a few short days left to before the most of Dromahair heads up the N4 and on towards Dalkey, Katherine had some last minute words of advice for the players.
“What they need to this week is sleep lots, eat properly and drink loads and loads of fluids. The right kind of fluids obviously, loads of water and loads of isotonic drinks. They need to keep themselves hydrated and keep themselves relaxed.
“They’re going up to Dublin, they won’t be in their own beds that night. They mightnt have as good a sleep as they normally have and they’re going to have to be aware of all those things. I might have a few more tricks up my sleeve for them having a good nights sleep.”
Reflecting on her Celebrity Bainisteoir experience to date, Katherine remarked, “I’m thrilled to have got involved, it was a pleasure. The celebrity thing leaves you as well. You just become a Manager of a team of young men.
“When I came here first I thought they were very young and they were a bunch of boys but they’re a bunch of men and they’re strong, mannerly, gentlemanly and kind.
“The camaraderie is perfect and I will be devastated if I can’t bring them to the actual final.”
This full report is available thanks to Philip Rooney for the Leitrim Observer
– it s available in this weeks
05-Mar-09 by Philip Rooney – LeitrimObserver.ie