NOEL McCarthy was impressed by what he saw of Dromtarriffe on Sunday.
The day after his side booked their place in the county final, Kilmacabea boss McCarthy watched on as the Duhallow men surprised Uibh Laoire in the semi-final in Macroom.
It reaffirmed his belief that Kilmacabea need to raise their game to the next level in Saturday’s county JAFC final at Páirc Uí Rinn.
‘We have to hit a height that we haven’t hit all season,’ McCarthy says.
‘A county final is not won by just turning up. You win a county final by working hard and reaching a level that you’ve never hit before.
‘We have to hit new heights because Dromtariffe are a very good team. We saw them on Sunday, they’re very good so we need to raise our bar to a new level. We are capable of that and we know if we click then we’re a very good team.
‘Dromtariffe’s work-rate and team unity stood out. They are good all over the pitch. They are solid, they have good forwards who can score from anywhere, so they need watching.’
McCarthy and his management team will do everything they can to avoid their players getting caught up in the pre-match hype of a first county JAFC final.
‘You have to keep this week as normal as possible. You can’t change your routine,’ he says.
‘It’s another game of football that happens to be a county final – but it’s still another game of football.
‘You can’t bring the occasion onto the players, that’s for the fans. Of course it’s extra special, but we will keep it the same as we have done all season.’
Kilmacabea’s first championship game was in late April against Kilbrittain and since then they’ve played eight more games, in Carbery and county, to come within touching distance of a county title – and a ticket to intermediate football in 2019.
‘You get to a final to win it,’ McCarthy says.
‘This team is capable of a big performance and hopefully that will come on Saturday. That’s what we’ll work on this week, make those tweaks to try and get that performance.
‘If the performance is there, hopefully we’ll get over the line. If it isn’t there, it will be a long road back but we’re not thinking about that, all we are concentrating on is Saturday and getting the result we’ve worked extremely hard for.’