Belfast Telegraph

Semple eyes up shock as Maiden City take on the might of Crues

By Graham Luney

Crusaders look as if they mean business in the cup competitions this season, but Maiden City captain Ryan Semple is promising them a rough ride at Seaview next month.

The Intermediate League boys will hope to mastermind the mother of all Irish Cup shocks in north Belfast on January 6 and former Derry City, Linfield and Institute ace Semple is already adopting a fearless approach.

Formed in 2016, the Derry side places an emphasis on developing young talent, and the players will now have an extra spring in their step after sealing a date with Stephen Baxter's men.

Semple, one of the wise old heads in the Maiden City ranks, said: "It's a brilliant draw for us. If you're going to get one the Premiership teams you would want a top four side, and we've worked hard to get to this stage so it's nice to play the Crues.

"It's a good reward for the players and we will go out and enjoy it. It's a huge task but we have a few experienced players and good young lads.

"We see Crusaders every week on TV, we know their players and their goalscoring threat, but in a cup game anything can happen.

"I'm coming towards the end of my career but I'm probably fitter than ever.

"We have only played three league games because of our good cup form and we have a Craig Memorial Cup final against Portstewart on Boxing Day.

"There's no pressure on us, we've got a big club and the players will enjoy the occasion.

"We are the unknown side but we will give it our all. Their surface will suit us, we are a football team and we like to play."

Belfast Telegraph

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