Rostrevor ready to deal with Cavanaghs threat: Mulholland
Former Down player Shane Mulholland has never been one to pull his punches.
Forthright both on and off the field during his playing career, the Ballyholland man is currently bringing his insightful analysis into play in his role as Rostrevor manager.
And as the team gear up for Sunday's Ulster intermediate final against favourites Moy Tir na nOg, Mulholland leaves no one in any doubt as to just how he rates his side's challenge.
"Look, teams like Moy and Rostrevor are masquerading in the intermediate championship if the truth be told," raps Mulholland.
"They are Division One sides, they are really senior teams. This shows you the standard in which we are involved and the level we must reach if we are to win."
Mulholland has overseen Rostrevor's progress to date content in the knowledge that they have improved with each outing.
But as he ponders a confrontation with a Moy side that includes the Cavanagh brothers Sean and Colm as well as the very much in-form Harry Loughran he lays it on the line to his players as to just what will be expected from them.
"We're not in the business of giving the Cavanaghs a nice send-off to the year, we want that Ulster trophy for ourselves. We need everyone pulling their weight and putting their bodies on the line," he says.
Mulholland's side were fully extended by a tenacious Milford of Donegal at the semi-final stage before managing to chisel out a one-point victory, 0-13 to 0-12.
When Mulholland was relieved of his duties as Down minor boss in 2015 after serving two years in the post, he indicated that it was "a real kick in the teeth" adding that he had "no interest" in becoming involved in team management again.
But his journey with Rostrevor underlines just what he still has to offer and it may well be that his talents could be transferred to some level of inter-county fare in the not too distant future.
However, Mulholland is strongly focused on getting Rostrevor into the All-Ireland club competition and knows that victory on Sunday would help to give his side an enhanced profile.
"I said to my players before the semi-final that Milford would be there right until the death and so it proved. It will certainly be no different against Moy on Sunday for sure," states Mulholland.
"They will be up for battle just as we will be."
◊ ULSTER GAA has lost one of its most devoted servants with the passing of former Monaghan chairman Liam Stirrat.
The Scotstown man will be remembered as someone who served both club and county with distinction throughout his life.
He represented Monaghan at senior level and became manager of Scotstown in 1977, going on to manage the Monaghan senior team from 1980 to 1982.
He was elected as vice-chairman of the county board in 1982 and became chairman in 1987 with one of his proudest achievements acquiring the land for the magnificent training facility at Cloghan.