Intermediate championship right place for Cavan rebuild to take place insists Áine Brady

Breffni defender relishing weekend clash with Down

Cavan captain Aine Brady with Down counterpart Meghan Doherty at the launch of Ulster IFC
Cavan captain Aine Brady with Down counterpart Meghan Doherty at the launch of Ulster IFC
CAPTAIN Áine Brady feels that the intermediate championship is the right place for Cavan as they look to rebuild.

The Breffni County were relegated from the senior grade at the end of last season, ending a 10-year residency.

But, with a large turnover in player personnel from last year and a new management team under Mickey O’Rourke, a new era has begun – and that starts with a first round Ulster championship clash against last year’s All-Ireland junior champions Down on Sunday (Glenn John Martin’s, 2pm).

“I’d say intermediate suits this squad a lot better,” said defender Brady.

“We are a brand new squad and many of the players on it weren’t involved with last year’s set-up, so we are new and it is easier to rebuild at intermediate. If we were in senior it would be sink or swim.

“We are going through a transition phase of trying to figure everything out, there are a lot of girls who have never played county before and it is a big step up, but we are going in the right direction. Things are clicking.”

However, it has already been a tough start to the season for Brady and her team-mates.

A change in the League regulations saw the bottom two teams relegated so, despite winning two games - which would have been more than enough in previous years - Cavan dropped to Division Three for next season.

However, Brady is not dwelling on that disappointment, instead looking forward to the business end of the season.

“It was a difficult League campaign, lots of new players - myself included... I think our first round against Tipperary there were 13 debutants starting on the pitch.

“We did better than previous years in the League but we are still relegated so that is annoying, but we tried different things and we were happy with the majority of the League, just probably left some games behind us.

“I don’t think players were as disappointed about being relegated, it was probably the game against Monaghan we left behind us, and we were just gutted about that because we knew things weren’t going to go in our favour.

“But we are moving on from that, we finished off on a high, we did well in our last game against Tyrone so we are looking forward to pushing on now on Sunday and hopefully we will get the win because it will be a long time before the All-Ireland series starts in June.”

For Brady and Cavan, the goal is to make sure they preserve their intermediate Championship status, and but they are not going out on Sunday to make up the numbers.

“The goal for the Championship is probably to remain in intermediate and there is no doubt we can if we just keep putting out the performances, because the quality of players we have is incredible.

“Down and Cavan haven’t played in a few years but absolutely we can win on Sunday. It all depends on the day and how everyone works together.

“There is no doubt that we can do it, we just have to believe in ourselves.”