David Shovlin pictured before the FAI Intermediate Cup final in 2016. Photo: Stephen Doherty.
When Letterkenny Rovers were first out of the hat during the draw for the quarter finals of the FAI Intermediate Cup, it meant home advantage for Eamon McConigley’s side in the last eight.
But for Rovers player, David Shovlin, an away draw would have been a lot handier.
The Raphoe man has been based in Cork since January where he has taken up a new role with the HSE as a podiatrist.
He’ll make the 260 mile trip to Letterkenny again this weekend to be part of the Rovers team that meets Home Farm at Leckview Park.
A round trip of well over 500 miles is a big commitment, but it’s a sacrifice that Shovlin is happy to make.
“I spoke to the manager and said I’d be happy to keep making the journey up to Letterkenny as much as possible,” he said.
“To be honest, the journey is a lot easier when things are going well and we’re on this cup run. But maybe at the end of the season, I might have to look at things.”
Shovlin was part of the side that went all the way to the Aviva Stadium for the 2016 FAI Intermediate Cup meeting with Crumlin United. Rovers are now just two games away from a place in the cup decider and Shovlin said there’s no reason why the team can’t go all the way again this year.
“We take it one game at a time,” he said.
“But when we beat Cherry Orchard in Dublin in the last round, I reckon there must have been a few teams around the country who looked at us and took notice. I wouldn’t say there would be many that would fancy a trip to play us in Donegal.”
That’s the task facing Home Farm on Sunday. The Whitehall outfit got the better of Cockhill Celtic in the last round and are now looking to make it a Donegal double with a place in the semi-finals the prize for the winner.
The experience of playing in the final will have helped Letterkenny Rovers and 27-year-old Shovlin is one of several survivors from that side.
Letterkenny have beaten Bonagee United (4-0), Middleton (3-2) and Cherry Orchard (3-0) on their way to the last eight.
“We’ve done really well to get this far, and overall, I’d say we are more than happy with where we’re at in terms of the cup competitions and the league,” Shovlin said.
“It’s another big game for us this weekend but after doing so well to get to the final back in 2016, we feel we are more than capable of competing with the best.”
Sunday’s game kicks off at 2pm.