‘We haven’t won anything yet’ warns Bann boss

For captain Eugene Magee's view of the game, (funny) pen-pics of all the team and the boss, get your hands on a copy of this week's Leader while you still can! Pic: Rowland White / PressEye
For captain Eugene Magee's view of the game, (funny) pen-pics of all the team and the boss, get your hands on a copy of this week's Leader while you still can! Pic: Rowland White / PressEye

It’s time for the Banbridge squad to prove just how good they are.

At the start of the season, Head Coach Mark Tumilty proclaimed the current crop to be up there with the best ever Banbridge sides.

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'Men's Hockey: Premier'Teams: Lisnagarvey (blue) v Banbridge (red)'Venue: Lisnagarvey'Date: 9th March 2013'Caption: Mark Tumilty, Banbridge Coach

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'Men's Hockey: Premier'Teams: Lisnagarvey (blue) v Banbridge (red)'Venue: Lisnagarvey'Date: 9th March 2013'Caption: Mark Tumilty, Banbridge Coach

They still have a clean sweep in their sights having lifted the Anderson Cup at the start of the season.

And this week they can put in place the second piece of the puzzle.

“This definitely is the best squad I have worked with but, barring the Anderson Cup, we’re still very conscious that we haven’t won anything yet,” said Tumilty.

“They’re a great bunch to coach. We have to manage them correctly but there is a great hunger to succeed within the squad.

“They demand that the sessions are all of a high standard and that they are intense. It’s a great atmosphere to work in and it’s certainly a lot easier than us having to drive it into the players.

“We’ve got a great mix with the young guys there in Jonny McKee and Kyle Marshall. Then we have the slightly older group of Matthew Bell and Owen Magee and then the more senior internationals.

“This squad should be about for a while too. We just need to start being more ruthless. That’s what the players need to grasp now.”

Bann, of course, looked set to take on old rivals Lisnagarvey in Boxing Day’s decider. Although Cookstown completed a startling semi-final comeback win over the Hillsborough side, Tumilty reckons the atmosphere will still be electric.

“Of course, there is always that edge against Garvey but it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, there will be a good crowd and a big atmosphere on Boxing Day,” he said.

“It’s on days like that when you want to produce your best hockey. It doesn’t matter how long your career is, you don’t get the chance to win too many trophies.

“There are plenty of players who spend their whole careers trying.”