As we approach Irish Cup Final I share my message from the Club match programme.
The Irish Cup Final is what dreams are made of for Ballinamallard United FC, its players, manager, committee, sponsors, supporters and all associated with the Club.
The build-up to the final and the occasion itself can be stressful for all involved, there are highs and lows for many people along the way, I just hope that we can all, as far as possible enjoy the occasion. With such events come much behind the scenes work and agonising over decisions that need to be taken, I know from a Ballinamallard United perspective that all those decisions will be taken in the best interests of the Club. I want to thank all those who have carried out that work and taken those decisions, it is great to have such a dedicated group of volunteers.
At this time practically all the focus is on the present and preparation for 4th May. However, I believe it is also good to reflect on the past, I think of many who have been with and played for the Club in the distant past, Teddy Elliott and Bobby Lee come to mind. I think of those who helped reform this club in 1975, people like bothers Noel & Ken Fallis, Drew Fallis, Robert Boyle, and also those who are no longer with us, wouldn’t Billy Aiken, Maxie Patton, Tommy Fisher and many others be so proud of the achievements of Ballinamallard United FC!
I have just named a very, very small number of the many people who have tirelessly worked for this Club down the years. I trust that whether you are present in person at the National Stadium or watching from elsewhere on Saturday 4th May you will be honoured and delighted at the part you have played in the Club’s accomplishments.
I have talked to many people during the past weeks about this game, there is a massive goodwill towards this Club as we approach the game, not just from our own supporters, but from supporters of other teams, and those who don’t support any team, even from those who don’t have much interest in football. There is a community support that has been brought together as only football can do.
I know that Stephen Baxter will have his Crusaders team very focused on the game, they will go into this game as clear favourites, they will not want to be overturned by the minnows from Fermanagh.
I am confident that Harry McConkey, even though Ballinamallard United are the underdogs will have a game-plan. I say on behalf of all involved with Ballinamallard United FC, we are truly proud of Harry and his squad, we have every confidence in their ability to take this trophy back to Fermanagh and we are firmly with you in all around this memorable occasion.
Finally, whatever the outcome on 4th May, enjoy your day and embrace the occasion.
C’mon the Mallards – You can do it - Believe!
Tom Elliott – Chairman, Ballinamallard United FC