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Cavan can conquer the Kingdom: Hyland

By John Campbell

It's a match-up that many people would have deemed improbable. I mean Cavan v Kerry in an All-Ireland Championship context does not quite have a familiar ring about it, does it?

Yet the Breffni side, far from being consumed by apprehension, are chomping at the bit to get in the faces of the Kingdom according to manager Terry Hyland.

"We feel we have progressed to the quarter-finals on merit and we want to give this match our best shot. Kerry have long been the barometer against which other sides gauged themselves and we are no different.

"We see this as a challenge to show that we really are a quality side and not just a flash in the pan," states Hyland.

And he is placing strong faith in what he describes as Cavan's '16th man'.

"This of course is our huge army of supporters," explains Hyland.

"All along the line in the championship we have had good backing and it's very important that this is the case again in Croke Park on Sunday. We will be depending on our '16th man' to do its stuff.

"Kerry are no strangers to Headquarters but I don't think my players will be overawed by the occasion. We want to hit the ground running if we can."

Hyland hopes to have a full-strength side available and will look to David Givney and Thomas Corr to establish a solid platform at midfield.

Martin Dunne and Eugene Keating will again carry the bulk of the team's scoring hopes along with Niall McDermott.

Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice is wary of the threat that Hyland's men will pose to a Kerry side that has not had to engage top gear in the championship to date.

"Cavan beat Monaghan and Meath in the league and they were very close to beating Monaghan in the Ulster championship. We then saw what Monaghan have gone on to do, defeating the All-Ireland champions in the Ulster final," points out Fitzmaurice.

"Cavan have been enjoying a good run through the qualifiers. They may not have played to their best against London on Saturday but they were on a hiding to nothing in that game.

"If they hammered London, people would have said London were poor.

But as I said, we wouldn't be taking anything for granted and our focus is now on Cavan in Croke Park next weekend."

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