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Gartland: There’s A Good Buzz Around

First Team News
// 2 Nov 2018

Dundalk centre-back Brian Gartland feels that there is a ‘good buzz’ around the club heading into the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Final. Speaking to dundalkfc.com ahead of the clash, Gartland is ready for the big day to come now and was full of praise for the attitude of the players within the squad.

“There’s a great attitude. A good buzz around the place. There’s a great group of lads here so it has been a good bit of craic this week and there is always a positive attitude. We have a few injuries but that is normal.

“It’s the end of the season and that happens. Cork City have a few too but you’ll find that the majority on both sides will come through. It’s a Cup final – no one wants to miss it. It’s like Lazarus returns! You do everything you can to get fit.

“It’s business as usual for us but when it gets to the weekend things do step up. Everything clicks into gear and there’s great competition. You can see it in training, we have great competition all over the park and that only increases towards the game.

“There’s a great buzz for us going into the final and the weekend.”

The 31 year-old, who celebrates his birthday on Cup Final Day, isn’t taking these weeks for granted but admitted he is becoming used to the routine now with the fourth final in a row but is intent on winning.

“It never gets old these weeks but you do just get a little bit more accustomed to the build up. The first one is just pure excitement, adrenaline for weeks. We still look forward to it now, don’t get me wrong. It’s such a special day.

“You just want it to come and you are wanting Sunday to come. We still enjoy them as much as the first but we are just that little bit more used to them now and it’s great.

“We just want to win. We have played Cork in the last three finals and it isn’t about the past finals. It doesn’t matter who is in front of us, we just want to win.

“We just need to be more clinical on the day. They are tight games, I thought we were the ones to win the games in the last three years and we will play our way.

“We will go out to try and win the game like we always do. We can only look after ourselves. We aren’t bothered by them.”

The Dublin native lifted the league trophy for the Lilywhites 2 weeks ago as captain with club skipper Stephen O’Donnell injured. He may have the chance to repeat the trick on Sunday evening and he revealed that it would be ‘a dream come true’ to do so should it happen but isn’t getting carried away, he knows the task that lies ahead.

“There’s such competition at the back but it would be a dream come true to lead a side out to lift a league trophy and to do it in the Cup Final at the AVIVA Stadium would be something special.

“It’s something that you can’t dwell on, you have to play the game in the usual way that you would but it is special. I am a firm believer in visualisation and lifting the trophy. I  have to visualise scoring a goal because it has been a while!

“Things like that come into your head and you need to have that willing you on, that drive. It keeps you focused but we aren’t getting carried away.”

The former Portadown player dismissed the notion that there is a sense of unfinished business after he got a head injury in the 2017 final saying that it is the way things go.

“I went to head the ball last year and I caught a Cork player, it shattered my nose. The doctor and physio thought I was concussed. It was disappointing to come off.

“That’s football, you get highs, you get lows. You get knocks. You have to pick yourself up and get on with it because if you don’t your career will pass you by. It’s luck of the draw.”

‘Garts’ spoke about how these moments need to be cherished and treasured and he feels that we are doing that and he wants to add another one to the litany of great nights on Sunday.

“You talk about winning leagues and we have to treasure those moments. We have won a few leagues and have had Cup finals. We treasure moments like that

“We always go on about them but we are blessed here with the success we have had. The amount of Cup finals we have been in, we need to make it count.

“Six or seven players winning their second double in a few years would be amazing and hopefully we will be celebrating come Sunday night.”