IRISH CUP: Medals the motivation for Tuffey and his team-mates

Jonny Tuffey. Pic by Pacemaker.
Jonny Tuffey. Pic by Pacemaker.

Goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey wants to keep a tight hold on Glenavon’s status as Irish Cup holders - with motivation for medals key to the squad’s overall progress.

The 30-year-old experienced a first Irish Cup final of his career last season and considers the memories from that campaign as part of the drive towards continued success with the Lurgan Blues.

The hunger to push on is shared by his team-mates in a group that may pack a wide mix of ages but can boast that unifying shared desire.

“You look around and we have a real blend in the dressing room but everyone wants to be part of the big days with this club,” said Tuffey. “Although no-one is saying we are over the moon with the season, to be secure in the top six and with the potential of another Irish Cup final come Saturday night means it should be considered more of a success than some think.

“Once you win any trophy that provides its own source of motivation for sure and the semi-final could be a defining moment of our season.

“The Irish Cup final is a special day and, fortunately, we won last season and do not want to give away that title.

“The vibe is relaxed around the squad for big games as you trust in your past experiences and use those to help you prepare.

“The real work is done in the build-up to the match, so when you get that right during the week you can approach the game itself in the right mindset and ready to just go out and play.

“That comes from preparing in the right way and we have a squad here where the young lads, even with that experience, listen and take on board what the more senior players try to pass on as advice.

“We have clicked into form similar to last season, when we were pressing high and stopping the opposition creating quality chances.

“The squad is in a transitional period for sure but we could be sitting on Saturday in a third final in four years.”