- Wednesday October 31st, 2012 @ 14:27
LOCAL SAINTS SEEK SILVERWARE
With only days until the FAI Cup final everyone connected with St Patrick's Athletic is in countdown mode ahead of Sunday's game with Derry City in the Aviva Stadium.
The sight of Inchicore decked in red and white from pillar to post ahead of Sunday's game is a familiar one to some members of the Pats' squad as the history of the club and the FAI Cup is something they are not only fully aware of, but something they have grown up with.
For full-back Ger O'Brien, as he told stpatsfc.com, having spent many a game on the banks of the Camac as a youngster cheering the Saints' with family members, the scale of the occasion and what it means to the fans of the club is well known to him.
"Yeah it's massive. Ever since the win against Dundalk in the semi-final, it has been something we've been really looking forward to, though we couldn't say that while we'd a few league games left.
"I know that it's something that every Pats fan wants to win and it's certainly something I want to win, it's not just going to be me, all my family and friends that will be there, but everyone's."
"It's been well documented how long it's been since the club has won the cup, so if we can bring that trophy back to Inchicore, it would be absolutely unbelievable."
The Saints' history in the FAI Cup is not lost on keeper Brendan Clarke either having supported the club as a youngster also, due to the influence of his father Brendan Senior.
Having claimed the league title in 1996 Brian Kerr's Pats side faced Shelbourne in the Cup final, but were edged out in a replay, a game Clarke attended.
"Yeah I can remember being on the South Terrace in Dalymount Park in 1996 and it being packed," Clarke told stpatsfc.com.
"Dave Campbell scored down that end I think, and I remember thinking â€˜what is he doing jumping over the fence to celebrate.'
"He nearly fell when he was celebrating and I still give him a bit of stick about that now.
"But unfortunately as we know, Eddie [Gormley] had that chance and missed a penalty, and looking at pictures of it, you do think what could have been."
Clarke was a part of the 2003 squad that suffered defeat to Longford Town, though as Clarke recalled, the â€˜emotion' of the day due to the sudden retirement of Saints' star Charles Mbabazi Livingstone had been on the minds of all connected with the club.
2006 saw the Saints lose out in extra time to Sunday's opponents, Derry City, though as Clarke commented, "the wind and weather that day was just mental, and unfortunately, it went in Derry's favour."
However, fortunes were to change for the 27 year old in the cup last year as he claimed an FAI Cup winner's medal as Sligo Rovers defeated Shelbourne.
With the experience of having the competition under his belt, the keeper is confident that the Saints can win on Sunday evening.
"Last year was my first senior medal so it'll always be special to me, but all my family ties are with Pats so yeah, it would be that bit more special to me to win the cup with the club.
"Hopefully this time round now, come Sunday evening, I'll be celebrating with a winner's medal around my neck."