Sean McNally concedes that he has not had to travel too far in search of inspiration for tonight’s Ulster Club Junior Football Championship decider.
The Brackaville forward is a son of Sean snr who played for Tyrone in the 1986 All-Ireland final when one of the greatest-ever Kerry sides proved too strong at Croke Park.
Pace, flair and a deft scoring touch were the attributes that helped sustain his father’s tenure in the Red Hands side and it is no coincidence that young Sean currently parades these very same qualities.
Brackaville now face Armagh champions An Port Mor at Pairc Esler, Newry (6pm) in a match that will see another former Tyrone ace Colin Holmes bid to thwart their provincial title ambitions.
He will be partnered as usual at midfield by Mark Curran who had a red card incurred in the semi-final downgraded to a yellow on appeal to Croke Park.
“While we were delighted to win the Tyrone championship title we now have our hearts set on the Ulster crown,” states McNally jnr, “The fact that we are meeting an Armagh side lends an extra edge to this final as there is a great rivalry between the counties.”
And while his father has provided him with considerable encouragement during Brackaville’s championship run to date, Sean acknowledges that he faces a big personal challenge tomorrow.
“Like all the rest of the boys, I want to show my best form. We’re in good shape mentally and physically,” he adds.
Team skipper Cahir McGuinness lives next door to the McNally family and believes that what he refers to as the team’s “gradual improvement” this season can be taken to the next level in the final.
“We have a bigger hill to climb this weekend but our fitness levels could not be much better. We are a young squad and we have developed as a team,” insists McGuinness.
But he is particularly aware of the challenge that An Port Mor will offer.
“Obviously they are a good team to have won the Armagh championship and then get through to this stage of the Ulster series. We have the highest respect for them and we will certainly need to hit the ground running,” says midfield ace McGuinness.