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Anto hopes Finnegan to inspire Antrim

By John Campbell

Anto Finnegan could be forgiven for keeping his sole focus on Saturday's Ulster XV v Dublin clash at the Kingspan Stadium to raise funds to assist research into Motor Neurone Disease.

But the ebullient Anto makes light of his own illness to take stock of what he sees as a rather bigger picture as he contemplates what promises to be a gala week-end sporting occasion.

"I would love to think that Saturday's game might just help in a sense to fire up Antrim for 2015," states Anto.

"If you go back to this time last year, Antrim were about to embark on 2014 hoping to get out of Division Four and perhaps clinch a place in the Ulster Championship semi-final by beating Fermanagh in the first round

"Now they find themselves in exactly the same position as they are about to go into 2015, but I think that there could be more momentum this time.

"Antrim will still be trying to get out of Division Four and they have again been drawn against Fermanagh in the Ulster Championship, but now we have a new manager in Frank Fitzsimmons, there is a very positive, fresh approach to things."

And he believes that Antrim players who are expected to be included in Joe Kernan's selection for Saturday's game can shine a light going into 2015.

"I honestly believe that we have good players in Antrim and those who are chosen for Saturday's game will be in very good company. This should help to bring them on even further," points out Anto.

Antrim chairman Jim Murray is appealing to Antrim followers in particular to come out in big numbers to support the 'Match for Anto'.

"I think this is a wonderful concept and the fact that it is taking place at the Kingspan Stadium is fantastic," said Murray.

"It will be a tremendous sporting occasion with the entire community involved and I think that it will send out a very positive message."

Belfast Telegraph

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