Saffron Gael speaks to Mick McCann
In the build up to Saturday’s Ulster Championship meeting between Cavan and Antrim the Saffron Gael speaks to Antrim’s Mick McCann. Michael has given long distinguished service to the Saffron cause, making his debut against Cavan away back in 2005 and has been one of Antrim’s outstanding performers for more than a decade.
His club manager, Damian Cassidy has described him as a Rolls Royce of Gaelic football and he has been instrumental in Erin’s Own collecting their first 3-in-a-row with a win over Creggan in this year’s championship final.
Michael stepped away from the county scene a couple of years ago but was persuaded to return by Antrim manager, Lenny Harbison and while his game time has been limited his contribution has been immense.
He came on for his first game in this year’s league campaign against Carlow in Glenavy and helped to steady the ship with Antrim coming from behind to gain a draw and again against Limerick in Portglenone where he brought a bit of composure to proceedings as Antrim recorded their best win of the season against the league leaders.
Mick McCann was missing from the Antrim side who suffered their worst result for quite a number of years against Wicklow in Aughrim, the Cargin man suffering from a hand injury but returned last day out as Antrim defeated Waterford in Haggardstown to restore a bit of confidence to the side.
Today he gives his thoughts on the present Antrim team and their prospects against Cavan at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday.
Saffron Gael: Michael, how have the preparation been going in the build up to Saturday’s game against Cavan?
Michael McCann: Following the Wicklow defeat we got the squad back together and luckily we had a game against Waterford to try and get it out of the system. We seem to have a full squad back training but understand the immense challenge ahead and everyone is well focused on Saturday,
Saffron Gael: Your contributions this year have come off the bench. Do you expect to start against Cavan this weekend?
Michael McCann: Truthfully, I’m not sure, as you have said, I have contributed more from the bench so I’m sure I’ll be in contention like everyone else.
Saffron Gael: How do you rate Antrim’s chances against Cavan on Saturday?
Michael McCann: Well the Ulster Championship is always tricky for every team. Cavan have an incredible victory over Monaghan behind them so confidence will be high. As a group we believe we can put a performance together and that’s the main thing.
Saffron Gael: You were one of four players from the present panel who played against Cavan in that famous semi-final victory in Clones back in 2009. If any or all of you start do you think that experience will help Antrim’s chances on Saturday?
Michael McCann: Well I think experience of specific situations helps every team, so, as I said before, if we can make a contribution to a solid performance that’s really all that matters.
Saffron Gael: You were impressive when you came on against Waterford last day out. Has your injury cleared up and what was the injury that kept you out of the Wicklow game?
Michael McCann: Yeah, after the County Final I injured my hand in training. Had to get an MRI scan to see the extent of the damage. This held me back from training for 4 weeks so that’s what ruled me out of the Wicklow game. I have just to manage the hand, plenty of physio and precautions and plough on, as they say.
Saffron Gael: Give us your thoughts on the present Antrim panel and add anything else you would like to say about Saturday’s game and Antrim’s prospects?
Michael McCann: The current panel have plenty of pace and fitness, it’s whether they can manage the game throughout the 70 minutes. Working hard comes easy to them which is a great attribute, balancing that with game management is where we have fallen short. Hopefully the two come together on Saturday.