FAI Cup trip to Dublin for Rovers

FAI Cup trip to Dublin for Rovers

Darren McElwaine said Letterkenny Rovers would love nothing more than a crack at one of the League of Ireland clubs in the FAI Cup.

This Sunday, Rovers travel to play Portnarnock in Dublin in the first round of the competition (2.30pm).

The prize for the winners is not only a place in the second round, but a place in the hat along with the 20 senior clubs who enter at the second round stage.

McElwaine said there's plenty of incentive for his team to try and win on Sunday.

“We'd love a match against one of the League of Ireland sides,” he said.

“That would be a fantastic occasion for everyone in the club.

“But to do that, we've got to get through this tie first, and that's not going to be easy.”

Portmarnock, like Letterkenny Rovers, were involved in semi-final action in the FAI Intermediate Cup last weekend. They drew with Crumlin United 2-2, while Rovers conceded a 94th minute equaliser to draw 1-1 at Cork's Ringmahon Rangers.

“You never know, this Sunday, we could be meeting our opponents in the FAI Intermediate Cup final,” McElwaine pointed out.

The Convoy man, however, did accept that he and his team-mates were still not over the concession of that last-gasp equaliser in Cork.

“It was a real body blow. It's a couple of days since the game, and we're still not over it,” he said.

“But it's up to us now as players to put it behind us and get the heads right now for this weekend.

“We're still in the Intermediate Cup. That's the bottom line.

“We've a replay to look forward to on Sunday week and before that, we've another big game against Portmarnock.”

McElwaine said he expects a different type of game in Dublin than what Rovers were involved in last weekend.

“I know from playing in inter-provincial games that teams in Dublin like to play more football,” he said.

“Cork sides seem to be more physical. They're always tough games.

“That's what it was like last Sunday. But when you play against a team from Dublin, there's more chance to play football.”

Rovers might well have to make a couple of changes in personnel for this weekend.

David Shovlin missed the game in Cork due to injury and is not likely to feature in Dublin either.

However, there are also concerns over Shane Bradley and Jonathon Minnock, both of whom were injury doubts prior to the Ringmahon match.

Rovers will be keen to assess the former Harps duo at training this week as preparations move up a gear for the game against Portmarnock.

Rovers' last appearance in this competition was back in 2004 when they lost out to Drumcondra after a replay. Ballyare.