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We will be judged on how we do in the here and now: Cush

 

Low-key: Adrian Cush plays it cool
Low-key: Adrian Cush plays it cool
John Campbell

By John Campbell

O'Donovan Rossa, Magherafelt manager Adrian Cush is gearing up for his biggest challenge since taking over the reins of the club when they face Kilcoo in an Ulster Club Championship quarter-final on Sunday at Pairc Esler, Newry.

Cush has watched his side surge to their first Derry title in 41 years but knows that they will have to find another gear if they are to thwart Kilcoo's bid to take a step towards what they hope would be their first provincial title.

The Magherafelt outfit may have lived dangerously on more than one occasion in landing the Derry crown but in Kilcoo they will be facing a side that will be participating in its seventh Ulster Club series in eight years.

The fact that they have never won the title provides Mickey Moran's side with an added incentive to come good this time round but they will be picking their steps carefully, according to skipper Conor Laverty.

Just as indeed will be Magherafelt who, having defied the odds to become the high kings of football in their own county, will now make a bold bid for provincial glory.

Manager Cush, who preached caution and patience throughout the Derry Championship, is equally wary as his team prepare to do battle at a higher level.

"We will be judged by what we do in the here and now," insists Cush. "We are going in against a very experienced Kilcoo side who are accustomed to playing at this level."

Yet O'Donovan Rossa believe that their fitness can prove a key factor and understandably trainer James Slater believes that they can last the pace having proved this time and again over the course of the summer.

In winning the Derry Senior Football Championship title for the first time in 41 years, the Rossa outfit came close to elevating winning key games by the narrowest of margins to an art form.

And now team trainer James Slater pinpoints one of the main reasons he believes why the side will be squaring up to Kilcoo.

"Kilcoo will be a massive challenge for us but in my opinion fitness levels and match preparation details have gone through the roof recently," insists Dungannon man Slater.

"There is no doubt that at the top level within the club sector the standards being set by all teams are high.

"This means that it takes an extra effort if meaningful success is to be achieved."

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