With the position groups over, we now turn to the Coordinators, Christian Cowan and Mark Beattie to gather how they are preparing for the Bowl game...
Defensive Coordinator Mark Beattie (top) and Offensive Coordinator Christian Cowan (bottom).
Pic credit: Eamon McCormick
We’ll start off with Christian Cowan, our Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receiver. Christian, it’s safe to say that the secret is out about our offence, do you think that this change of style from last year has been successful?
I think it has been successful this year once we've got going, we had a slow start but as the games have gone on we've hit our stride. You always want some continuity but we've built around the pieces we have this year and it's made for some exciting offensive play.
At the beginning of the year our receiving core was made up of mostly rookies, and Stephen Brennan has also been filling in at running back. How impactful has this rookie class been for the team?
The Cowboys have been a team recently that has liked to throw the rookies in at the deep end and I think it makes them develop and grow into the team. We started out with a scrimmage against the now Shamrock Bowl bound Panthers, an outing like that quickly gets the rookies initiated to football and our guys this year acquitted themselves superbly in their first outing. On offense guys like Stephen, Neil Maxwell and Peter Lundy have been crucial parts of our receiving corps and then later in the year at RB and on special teams. Rookies mixing in with the veterans now in the playoffs gives us a strong offense all round with good depth.
This Sunday then, biggest game of the year against the West Meath Minotaurs. In terms of preparation, have you changed anything since the last time these two teams met?
Well you never want to give too much away but we've had a look at our previous meetings and our recent games to see what areas we need to improve and how we can scheme against the Minotaurs. They are a tough team and are always hard to break down. We always want to play to our strengths so I'm sure it will be a hard fought game won in the trenches like all of our meetings have been in the past.
Ok now to you Mark, less than 3 days to go until the final, feeling prepared?
Yes feeling prepared. We have done the bulk of our preparations now, its just some more film work and watching things over again to make sure what we have I’m happy with. Also its about getting mentally prepared myself, making sure I know what to expect in my head so when game time comes it’s as normal as possible.
How is the Defense shaping up for Sunday?
We are looking good, a few niggly injuries but that is to be expected after a long season, but we’re generally happy with how we look. We have made one or two slight adjustments and with that there is always an element of risk but I’m confident in the guys as they have shown me before that they have the physical and mental ability to pick these changes up quickly.
The last training session is done, all preparations have been made. Anything else you two want to say to the lads before war starts on Sunday?
[Mark] I dont want to sound like a cliche machine here but basically - enjoy it. These games don’t come around that often in sports so soak it all in. Enjoy the excitement in the morning, enjoy getting together with the guys and enjoy the bus journey as best you can. But when it comes times to play, focus yourself - do yourself justice, because you have worked hard since before Christmas for this. The hardest work is done, now you just have to make sure you take advantage of the position you worked yourself into and do your job.
[Christian] As coaches we've done all we can when you step onto the field it's all about how much you want it, you go out and fight for each other, there are some of us that have been here before and we know how we want to leave that field.
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