Bell ready for Rovers date

by Karl Graham

BLUEBELL United are gearing up for the biggest game in the club’s history on Friday night when they take to the pitch at Tallaght Stadium for an FAI Cup third round clash with Shamrock Rovers.
Andy Noonan’s charges defeated League of Ireland side Cabinteely in the previous round but their next challenge represents a significant jump in class against the most successful team the country has ever produced.
“It’s more the occasion that the club and I are focusing one,” Noonan told GazetteSport. “I think the result and what happens afterwards is for Rovers. They’re definitely more focused on that because they see it as an opportunity to, potentially, go on to a final and win it.
“We’re just going to enjoy the game and the occasion. [Although] in 90 minutes of football anything can happen.”
Bluebell were initially drawn at home but they were forced to switch venue after their facilities failed to meet the FAI’s criteria.
“It is a bit disappointing we had to concede the home advantage, because we were doing a lot to try and keep it in the Red Cow,” said Noonan.
“We met the FAI onsite and I think we ticked a lot of the boxes; bar the one obvious one about the access point. There is only one so there was a health and safety concern over it. It’s disappointing because I thought we could have given them a proper game in our place because our pitch is fairly tight in comparison to Rovers’ wide, expansive one.”
Bluebell prepared for the game in the best fashion possible with an emphatic 5-2 win over LSL opponents Firhouse Clover, but they came out of that game with a couple of injury concerns.
“We have a couple of injuries going into the game so the physio is working on them this week to see how they are, going into Friday. It’s not a game that I want lads to miss out on so we are going to give everybody the best chance possible.”
One player Noonan will definitely be without is former Irish international Keith Fahey after the experienced midfielder was sent off during the dying stages of the win over Cabinteely.
“He’s raging himself. With the second yellow card in the 90th minute, you’re looking at the referee to show a bit of common sense but sure, listen, it wasn’t to be and these are things that happen.
“I’m sure Keith will get over it fairly quickly and it has created a position for a player that maybe hasn’t played in Tallaght Stadium before to get a taste of it,” Noonan concluded.
The tie will be the second time Bluebell have face Premier Division opposition in 2017 having lost narrowly 1-0 to St Patrick’s Athletic in the League Cup in April.

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