Rosario YC player-manager Andy Morrow believes the five remaining Amateur League teams in this year’s Irish Cup fifth round should take inspiration from the exploits of Newington YC last year.
The South Belfast club travel to the Upper Braniel Road tomorrow to face a Knockbreda side whose dominance in Belfast Telegraph Championship Two suggests that promotion may only be a handful of games away.
There is no question Morrow’s men are outsiders — but so too were Amateur League Premier Division side Newington when they knocked out Glentoran at this stage last year, in one of the competition’s biggest ever upsets.
With fellow amateur clubs Kilmore Rec, Immaculata, Rathfriland Rangers and Ballynahinch United all taking on opponents several leagues above them, the chances of even one of them making the last eleven look slim — but Morrow will remind his players just what can be achieved.
The Rosario boss claimed: “The boys don’t have to look too far back if they need a reminder that nothing is impossible.
“Newington put the Amateur League into the limelight last season, and it would be absolutely massive for a wee club like ours if we could do that this year. It’s 11 v 11, so you always have a chance.”
It was only a few years ago that Knockbreda shared the amateur ranks with their weekend opponents, but while Hugh Sinclair’s side look good to earn promotion to Championship One at their fourth attempt, mid-table Rosario may find it harder to make an instant return to the NAFL Premier Division following their relegation to Division 1A last season.
Rosario, however, will not be in awe of Knockbreda, having disposed of one of Mid Ulster’s top teams in Tandragee Rovers, as well as Championship Two’s Armagh City, in previous rounds.
If the Roses can hold out till half time, they may seek to test a Knockbreda defence that leaked three second half goals to squander a two-goal lead to Institute in the Coca-Cola Intermediate Cup last weekend.