Bonagee United's Tony McNamee looking forward to Damien Duff's Shelbourne encounter
Former Derry City and Finn Harps midfielder Tony McNamee says everyone at Bonagee United is looking forward to tomorrow evening’s Extra.ie FAI Cup tie against Shelbourne (KO 8pm).
The Donegal men have put in a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure the tie against the Dubliners is played at Dry Arch Park and the 29-year-old knows just how much it means to everyone at the club.
“The committee has put in a lot of work, not just the team themselves, but they’re getting their just rewards,” explained McNamee.
“It’s going to be a good night for the club and I’m just glad that it was able to be played at home. I know the FAI were at the Dry Arch Park and the club had to do a few things like getting a gantry put in place for LOI TV.
“The pitch will be in great shape as well because no one has been on it for a few weeks now. It’s a tie everyone at the club is looking forward to and hopefully we can put Bonagee on the footballing map.
“Everyone at the club really puts a shift in. I’m only in the door the guts of a year now but everyone at the club couldn’t be more helpful towards you in any way.”
McNamee feels that the lure of the seven time FAI Cup winners, along with former Republic of Ireland international, Damien Duff, coming to the Donegal ground is great for the club.
“After we beat Pike Rovers in the last round we were hoping to get a League of Ireland club of some degree at home and I think everyone wanted a big club,” he confirmed. “I suppose if you take out Shamrock Rovers, Derry City and Dundalk, then Shelbourne would be your pick of the teams.
“I know Shelbourne aren’t up the table but they are a big club and you have the added incentive of Damien Duff managing them. Then you have Joey O’Brien and Alan Quinn, so it’s three Irish internationals taking the team.”
Despite their underdogs tag, the Ramelton man feels that United have enough League of Ireland experience in their dressing room not to be overawed by the experience.
“We go into the tie with likes of myself, Gareth Harkin, Mickey Funston and Packie Mailey all having experience of playing in the League of Ireland,” he stated.
“Then we have players who have maybe played with either Derry underage or Finn Harps underage, so we have plenty of experience in terms of League of Ireland.
“I was talking to a few of the club members on Tuesday night and they were saying they had around 700/800 tickets sold already so I would expect it to be a sell out, especially with whatever fans Shelbourne bring with them.”