Belfast Telegraph

Crusaders keeper on medal mission

By Graham Luney

Sean O’Neill will be going into his first senior cup final so he’s entitled to feel a few butterflies in his stomach.

However, the Crusaders number one will have huge confidence in the backline in front of him and so he should.

Colin Coates, Paul Leeman and David Magowan have played well over a thousand matches in their careers.

Gareth McKeown and Stephen McBride also know what it takes to deliver on the big stage.

The former Dungannon Swifts stopper has faith in his men to keep Curtis Allen and the rest quiet in the Irn-Bru Cup final so he can grasp his first winner’s medal.

“This will be my first senior cup final and it’s the reason why I came to Crusaders,” said O’Neill.

“Dungannon Swifts is a great club but I felt that Crusaders were one step ahead.

“I came here to win trophies and it’s disappointing that we haven’t been able to go on a consistent run in the league.

“We have this competition and the Irish Cup to go for now and we’ll give it our best shot.

“I’ve settled in well with at the Crues and the manager has been a big factor in that.

“I knew Stephen (Baxter) before I came to the club and he’s probably the reason why I signed for the Crues. There is so much camaraderie in the team and that makes it easier for me to enjoy my football more.

“Crusaders have so many players that have been there and done that and with Coleraine not being in a final for a while, that may give us an advantage.”

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