Portstewart manager Johnny Law has told fans of the club to savour their time in the spotlight when the Premier Intermediate League side take on top-flight Ballymena United in the Irish Cup at the Showgrounds today.
Law is expecting a strong turnout from Portstewart to make the trip to Ballymena and while accepting his team are huge underdogs in the tie, he would love to see the Seahawks fly high and make it tough for the Sky Blues.
For David Jeffrey’s players the assignment is to negotiate the banana skin encounter and reach the quarter-finals and from there anything is possible, including a first Irish Cup triumph for the club since 1989.
In that time Jeffrey has won seven Cups as boss of Linfield. How he would love just one with the Braidmen. Law labels the Ballymena boss as the greatest in Irish League history.
He also insists that for Portstewart, this afternoon is a big deal.
“For our club to have a tie like this against a Premiership team managed by David Jeffrey is massive for Portstewart and I want everyone going to the match connected to our club to enjoy their day,” said Law.
“The club has had some tough times financially and a lot of hard work behind the scenes has gone into keeping things going. We will have a good following at the Showgrounds and it is a tie for all of us to look forward to.
“Ballymena are a good side and we know how difficult it will be but we are going to give it our best and see what happens.”
In December, Portstewart were victorious in the Craig Memorial Cup final, beating Strabane in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
“The match with Ballymena will be like another Cup final for us,” added Law. “We appreciate that they will have to have an off-day and we must be at the top of our game but at the end of the day we have nothing to lose. We’ll travel there and give it a go.”