Keane looking to Rovers experience
Alan Keane is hoping to draw on a wealth of experience in big occasions as Sligo Rovers gear up for the Setanta Sports Cup final with Dundalk on Saturday.
The Bit o' Red face Dundalk in the finale at Tallaght Stadium with tickets on sale in The Showgrounds on Thursday and Friday between 2:00pm and 5:30pm.
Keane, a winner of five trophies so far in his Rovers career, is looking to add the Setanta Sports Cup to complete a full set of domestic medals with the club.
He told www.sligorovers.com: "It could come to a point where it could be really tight towards the end of a game, maybe 1-0 up or so and you have big game players like Joseph Ndo and you see games out. Inexperience might tell without that.
"Hopefully we're not that close towards the end, hopefully we're well out of sight. It'll be a tough game but experience does tell.
"A lot of lads with inexperience in Cup finals can get caught up in the day itself so hopefully that'll happen for us, that Dundalk get caught in the whole occasion and we go on to beat them."
It's a new horizon for Sligo Rovers, however, a first-ever All-Ireland decider, and a hope to bring home the trophy to Sligo after many attempts to reach the final previously.
Keane admitted it has been a long-standing goal to help Rovers win the competition: "It's a first for the club, a first for myself and a first for a lot of us in the squad. We're really looking forward to the game on Saturday.
"It would be fantastic to win all the Cups going in the space of five or six years.
"It would be up there with one of the best wins if we could go out there on Saturday and win it.
"Once you have the taste of success you want more of it. It's the first trophy on offer this year as well.
"It's a chance to re-write the history books for Sligo Rovers Football Club and you want to look back in years to come and say I was part of the squad that won the first All-Ireland.
"It's bragging rights at the start of the season isn't it?"
Keane has praised Dundalk's current run in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division as the Lilywhites have reached the summit after the first series of league games.
The Setanta Sports Cup has provided Rovers with the chance to show their best with victories over Crusaders and St Patrick's Athletic and positive league results have followed.
Keane thinks Saturday's game will be decided by the biggest desire to come away with the trophy.
"They've been on a good run like ourselves. We've had a bit of a slow start and it hadn't been going well for us but I think the Setanta Cup sandwiched in between a few games has lifted our confidence a bit.
"The St Pat's games especially - we played Pat's at home, we had Cork in between and Pat's away in the second leg and that kind of turned the season around. We've been coming into form and keeping clean sheets as well. Obviously Dundalk are flying but it's a final and anything happens in a final.
"It's what team wants it the most on the day and hopefully we come out on top on Saturday. Mentally you have to be up for Cup finals and I think our experience will tell on Saturday from being in so many Cup finals over the years."
Tickets for the Setanta Sports Cup final are on sale in The Showgrounds on Thursday and Friday from 2pm to 5:30pm.
Kick-off is 4pm in Tallaght. Prices range from €5 to €15.