Carrick’s Kyle Cherry is aiming to make it back-to-back Steel Cup final wins, writes John Gillespie.
Twelve months ago he was an integral part of the Dundela side which defeated Immaculata to lift the famous old trophy and he’s confident his new team have what it takes to deliver the goods.
“The Steel and Sons is a big, big trophy so, for me, it would be a massive achievement to win it two years in a row. I’d really love to do it again this year in a Carrick shirt,” he told the Times.
“We’ve a great squad together and we’re just hoping everyone is fit and ready to go. It should be a great day out.”
Cherry, a ball-playing midfielder with a superb passing range, feels his game has developed further since his summer move to Taylor’s Avenue.
“I feel that I have improved massively. Gary (Haveron) is one of the main reasons I signed for Carrick. He told me his plans and the way he wanted to play football and since the team has gelled very well together. With Gary, it’s all about playing football.”
Cherry praised the team’s togetherness before pin-pointing Welders’ free-scoring striker Michael McLellan and midfielder Scott Davidson as the men they need to stop.
“When we’re on the pitch, everyone wants the ball and we are clicking together really well and there is plenty of movement up top,” he said. “We know we can score goals and our defence has been a major influence as well this year with a number of clean sheets.
“For the Welders, Michael McLellan is a great player but Scott Davidson, in the middle of the park, is also very good. He makes them tick.
“Their manager, Gary Smyth, will have them organised and they are going well. But if we play to our strengths and perform the way we can play I think we should be alright.”
He added: “With Dundela last year there was a bit of nerves ahead of the final. It was Christmas Day and it was packed out, but it’s a great Cup to win and it’s a major trophy.
“We just need to relax and treat it like another game. There’ll be a feelgood factor too, but once we get the ball flowing and everything is ticking over I’m really confident we can do a job out there.
“I certainly don’t want to lose the final. Last year was a really good feeling and it would ruin my Christmas to be on the losing side.
“I’m a bad loser as it is, never mind Christmas Day. Hopefully we can just put the foot down and get on with it.”