IT’S A LONG time since a St Patrick’s Athletic captain has lifted the FAI Cup, but skipper Conor Kenna says he won’t touch the trophy before the final for fear of jinxing the Saints’ chances.
A hint of revenge will be in the air when Kenna leads Pat’s into the Aviva Stadium for Sunday’s clash with Derry City.
Six years ago, the Candystripes edged a thrilling final 4-3 in extra-time, sentencing the Dubliners to the latest in a long line of cup misery which stretches back to 1961.
To say that Pat’s can’t wait to get their hands on the cup again is a huge understatement — but after 51 years of waiting, what’s another couple of days?
“I’d never touch it,” Kenna tells TheScore.ie. ”If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be and we’ll see on Sunday.
I’ve got a few things that I’m superstitious about. That’s one of the things I won’t go near.
With his boots, Kenna continues, the left one always goes on before the right. But when it comes to the cup, he won’t even let his mind wander to the moment when he might lift the trophy on Sunday evening.
“Liam [Buckley, Pat's manager] likes to visualise things, but like I said, it’s in the back of my mind, but the job has to be done first and that’s what the mind is on at the moment.”
Looking forward to Sunday’s game, Kenna predicts some flowing football between two sides who like to attack.
“It will be an open game, that’s the way both teams play, so we’re looking forward to it.
The lads have done very well, playing attacking football over the season. You’ve got to look as well, we’ve got the best defensive record in the league so that speaks for itself.
We’re trying to play a certain type of football and at times it has worked. At times it hasn’t worked, but hopefully it will work on Sunday.
He adds: “The main aim was to get a European spot and do well in the cup. We’ve done one part of that, so obviously we have to go and win the cup now.
“If you don’t win it, you might look at it as a negative, but we’ve got there this season and hopefully we can build on it for next year.
– Additional reporting by Sean Farrell