Cian Mackey’s return to the fold during the National League was a very welcome addition for new Cavan Manager Mattie McGleenan ahead of the 2017 Ulster Senior Football Championship. They may have lost their top flight status at the end of it all but the Castlerahan man is keen to focus on the fresh challenge offered by their debut in this year’s provincial title race.
”The way the league went was obviously disappointing but once it’s over you just have to forget about that and move forward. Our training has been very good since and we have been able to get a great focus on our first round game. We didn’t know who we would be facing until a few weeks ago but we will be well prepared for the massive challenge Monaghan will bring”
Mackey states that the key to Cavan progressing is taking a ‘win or learn’ approach to their performances in big games over the last 12 months.
‘’We need to take away learnings from this year’s league and put them into practice for the Championship ahead. Hopefully we can use our Championship experience from last year as well to be a better side this year. After beating Armagh last year we then drew with Tyrone in the semi-final in Clones – but we didn’t learn enough that day to get a win the second day out and, obviously, Tyrone went on to win the title. As a squad, we are another year older, another year wiser, so hopefully we can kick on from here’’
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Cavan’s last Anglo Celt victory and Cian hopes that the influence of Tyrone man McGleenan can help bring glory back to the Breffni men.
”The Ulster Championship is massive in Cavan. We have a huge support in Cavan when things get going well and 20 years is a very long time for them to waiting for any kind of silverware – so hopefully this year can bring good things.
”Mattie has come in and freshened up the whole set up. He has brought maybe a bit of a different slant to things when it comes to Championship football, given his background, so hopefully we can all carry that out against Monaghan on Sunday and see where that gets us’’