Seosamh Mac Ceallabhuí knows Red Hughs don’t need talk of ‘hunger’ – after all it’s been 37 years since they last won the Junior Championship.
Red Hughs have been in four finals in the last 15 years, but haven’t managed to lift the McCloskey Cup since 1981.
They lost to Naomh Brid in 2003, drew with Naomh Ultan and lost the replay in 2015 and last year they were beaten by Naomh Colmcille.
“There is a hole there that needs to be filled,” MacCeallabhuí says.
“We don’t have to talk about hunger.
“There isn’t one in the county that doesn’t say that Red Hughs deserve to win a Championship – but Urris won’t hand it to us.
“They’ve lost three county finals in the last four years; well, they drew one of them. It says a lot of the character of the players that they keep coming back. They keep coming out and trying it.”
A last-ditch Damien Browne free gave them a narrow win over Letterkenny Gaels in the weekend’s semi-final.
Mac Ceallabhuí says that game in Convoy asked a lot of questions of his men.
“We have a lot of ageing players, fellas who have been playing football all their lives,” he says,
“We had ten men at the physio after the Gaels game. That was a tough old game and it took its toll.”
The likes of the captain, Gerard Melaugh, and Browne have helped backbone Red Hughs’ challenge of late.
Calvin Bradley remains another potent weapon in attack and Stephen McMenamin arrived in this year’s Championship on the back of an Ulster SFC-winning campaign with Donegal.
Yet, MacCeallabhuí insists that Urris are the fancied side this weekend.
He said: “Urris are favourites. They went to the Ulster final a couple of years ago and a lot of them are still about. They had a poor League campaign and if you looked at that, you’d be thinking: ‘These fellas have no interest in the Championship’, but they have pushed on and they handled Convoy. They didn’t get out of second gear.
“We’re definitely very weary of them.”