Belfast Telegraph

Callacher relishing task of putting brakes on Kevin Braniff

By Graham Luney

Jimmy Callacher could be handed one of the toughest jobs in local football this afternoon - marking Kevin Braniff.

Not even the best defence in the league - Crusaders' backline - could silence Braniff in the Irish Cup semi-finals as he smashed in four goals and set up the final showdown against Linfield.

Centre-back Callacher, who scored for Glentoran in the 3-1 win over Cliftonville in the 2013 decider, knows Braniff is a class act but he's relishing the challenge of keeping him quiet.

"When he's on his game he's as good as there is and he has been for the length of time he's been here," admitted Callacher.

"I have marked him before, as well as the strikers who are now my team-mates, and he is a good player. It is something I will relish. I won't fear it."

The 24-year-old was raised in the shadow of Windsor Park, which is looking shinier and healthier after a £28million makeover.

No-one needs to remind him of the demands and expectations Linfield players must live with.

"When you come here, winning trophies is expected and the fans demand it," he added. "I live round the corner and I knew that because I used to be one of the eejits that shouted at players every week.

"I came here to win trophies and hopefully we can start that on Saturday. As for feeling pressure, I don't as at the end of the day it's just a game - not life or death. At the end of the 90 minutes there's nothing you can do about it."

Belfast Telegraph


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