Fermanagh GAA star Shane McCabe believes his dream of an All-Ireland final could finally come true tonight — albeit in a different code — as Glentoran travel to Drogheda United for their Setanta Sports Cup semi final.
But the midfielder, who famously helped the Ernemen to the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland senior football championship this season, will be praying his team mates do the business to keep his hopes alive as he watches from the sidelines.
McCabe was sent off in the Glens’ 1-0 win over St Pat’s last week and must miss out tonight’s visit to United Park with the east Belfast men one step away from an historic appearance in the final of the cross-border competition.
While hugely disappointed that he won’t be able to make an impact, the classy Fermanagh man is backing the Glens to come up trumps against the Drogs.
“I’m devastated not to be playing,” he said.
“It was a bit of petulance when you look at it – we were under a bit of pressure and I thought I’ll hook this away and then I realised what I had done, that I’d already been booked and the referee give me another yellow.
“I thought it was a bit harsh but these things happen and now I am not going to play in one of the biggest matches that Glentoran have been involved in.
“I just wish the boys all the best and hopefully they can get to the final and I’ll maybe get a chance to play in that.
“We have able replacements, there is a big squad here and enough quality to come in and cover no matter who is unavailable.
“I definitely think we can do it. I watched their match the other night and they are a physical side but hopefully the boys don’t stand off them and show them too much respect.
“We have got to this stage on merit and deserve to be there. We have already shown that we can match the eircom League teams with our performance against St Pat’s and another one like that I think will take us through.
“I only wish that I was playing. Every player wants to take part in these matches, with big crowds and a big atmosphere and although I’m disappointed that I’m not playing, I’ll be cheering the rest of the lads on.”