JARLATH Burns calls it ‘challenge match’ play, the art of taking an extra solo out of the ball before moving it on, just to look good. The temptation for any young player unsure of his place on a squad is to do this, but the stakes are particularly high for a few Queen’s players.
Goalkeeper Matthew Jackson, full-back Niall McGovern, centre-back Brian Cox and midfielder Ryan Jones all lined out for Queen’s in Healy Park last weekend, and they now face a novel challenge in playing their home county in Brewster Park.
During the trials in a couple of months back, all of those players indicated their willingness to be part of Peter Canavan’s plans.
After the trial series, they were informed that they are in contention for a place on the National League squad, and their form for Queen’s would be monitored.
“It will be great to get out there, to try and impress Peter Canavan,” commented Jackson during the week.
“It’s on the home ground as well, and I suppose it will be strange, playing against boys you know, but it’s a good opportunity too. There’s no better way to catch the eye than playing against your county team.”
While goalkeeper Jackson has played county minors and u-21s, he has yet to become a senior player.
McGovern, Cox and Jones have all played Championship football already with Fermanagh, and would bring a level of strength and experience to the back-line and midfield.
Certainly, the absence of Jones’ strength would have been keenly felt against Antrim for Fermanagh had Eoin Donnelly and Shane Lyons not performed so admirably.
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