IRISH CUP FINAL: Mackle’s medal mission

Sean Mackle. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Sean Mackle. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

The addition of three players from Linfield last summer signalled an increase in trophy experience within the Shamrock Park squad.

Sean Mackle, entering his fifth season with the Ports, considers the hunger for a first taste of glory another key factor that could lead to final rewards.

“Speaking from personal experience, I have runners-up medals from the Irish Cup, League Cup and Irish League so want that first win,” said the Lurgan-born midfielder. “A few of us need that first medal and there is certainly a real hunger to win trophies.

“Any successful side tends to build on a first win and you only have to look at Cliftonville and Crusaders for examples of pushing on.

“You look at our results against the teams considered the top sides in the Irish League and we have good form.

“Consistency is the issue and our most disappointing results have come against the teams in the bottom six.

“The priority is a win on Saturday and that can lead to something down the line, as well as the importance of getting the club into Europe.”

Mackle’s previous Irish Cup final experience came in the 2010 defeat to Linfield as a right-back, following Keith O’Hara’s semi-final injury.

One of Mackle’s strongest performances this season arrived as right-back in the semi-final victory against Ballymena United at The Oval.

“I have played in a number of positions this season, from right-back to anywhere across the midfield” he said. “I am happy switching into different roles for the team.”