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Club focus: Erne Rovers

Erne Rovers

You might not associate Belleek and west of Fermanagh with soccer success, but little Erne Rovers are doing their best to put the area on the map.

The club, who play their home matches 25 miles away in Enniskillen, have reached the last 16 of the Coca-Cola Junior Cup.

Erne Rovers have knocked out both Glenbryn and Enniskillen Santos and now they're looking forward to taking on last season's finalists Harryville Homers.

Manager James Calgie explained: “Beating Santos was a big scalp for us, as nobody expected us to win. We went to Belfast the round before and beat Glenbryn, which was another shock, so the cup run has been fantastic for us. It's a great achievement when you consider we were only founded three years ago.

“We've a fantastic group of guys here and it's great that they're getting this opportunity. We put this team together because most of the guys from our area had to travel 20 odd miles to play for other clubs.

“Even now, we have to travel 25 miles to play our home games as there are no pitches in the area. Before we set up this club most of our guys never had the chance to play competitive football, as they simply never had the chance. Now we're looking forward to playing in the last 16 of the Junior.”

Erne Rovers beat Enniskillen Santos 3-1 in the Fourth Round, despite the fact that Santos are a division above them.

Reflecting on the game, Calgie said: “I told the boys that on paper they were the better team, but football isn't played on paper.

“We went onto the field and got in their faces from the first whistle. Perhaps they expected us to park the bus, but we went at them and it worked for us. Every player put in a shift and we deserved the win. It was a massive moment for our club.”

Rovers can now look forward to a Fifth Round clash with current Ballymena League champions Harryville Homers on Saturday, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

“I've been told they haven't lost a league game in two years, so they're obviously a great side, but it's all about what happens on the day.

“If we've our best 16 players available I'm always confident we can give anyone a game. There is no shortage of ability in our team.

“But on Saturday, we're just going to enjoy the day because that's what it's all about.”

Calgie hopes that this cup run is a sign of things to come for the Co Fermanagh side.

“A lot of our players are involved in GAA, so we're not always able to field our best side, so our league results haven't matched our form in the cup.

“We've still a chance of getting promotion, if we go on a great run, which I know my players are capable of.

“In the future we'd like to move up the league and get a pitch in our area, but for know we're focusing on the Harryville game.”


Name: Erne Rovers

League: Fermanagh & Western Division Three

Founded: 2011

Nicknames: The Rovers

Ground: Bawnacre Centre

Colours: Yellow and Blue

Gaffer: James Calgie

Skipper: Gordon Gregg

Sharpshooter: Ronan Cox and Seamus Ryder

Most Skilful: Martin Doherty

Hard Man: Jason Love

Club Comedian: Mark Burns

Best Moment: Getting to last 16 of the Junior Cup

Club Man: Chairman Alan Gregg


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