Leicester City the inspiration for Hanover as they aim for cup giantkilling
Hanover are aiming to channel the spirit of Leicester City as they aim for the biggest result in the club’s history.
An appearance in the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup for the first time ever is a sufficient challenge.
But the nature of the opponents that they will be facing increases the difficulty rating quite significantly.
Limavady United come into tomorrow’s game at Mill Meadow as strong favourites to reach next month’s final.
Top of the league and seemingly coasting towards a second successive title, they’re an imperious side.
They’ve scored for fun throughout the campaign and have two men up front in Robbie Hume and Joe McCready who have struck fear into many a defence so far this campaign.
The Roesiders have that winning mentality, not only from last year’s league triumph but also from this season when they won the Craig Memorial Cup on Boxing Day.
It was the draw Hanover wanted to avoid, but, at the same time, they insist they travel to Castledawson with hope and pride in their hearts.
And not without solid grounding. They got the better of Ards Rangers in a hard-fought quarter-final and have also knocked out Carrick Rangers’ second string on their way to this stage.
The Portadown side also carry a goal threat of their own, having notched at a rate of almost three per game in the league this season.
And gaffer Steven Hyndes has told his squad to back themselves on the big stage.
“We’re all set, we’re prepared and ready for the game,” he said. "We’re not kidding ourselves; Limavady are a team with plenty of confidence and quality.
“They’ve scored a tonne of goals and they’re closing in on potentially another league title.
“We’re definitely punching well above our weight because there’s a big difference in the standard we’re playing at.
“But we are intent on going there and giving it a good blast and doing the jersey proud.
“We aren’t going into it thinking this is the end of the road. None of the boys want the journey to end – although I’m sure my wife does because it’s all I’ve been thinking about!
“We want the journey to continue and that means beating them and going to the final.
“There’s bigger gaps in football been made up in one-off games. Look at Leicester City last season – nobody thought that was possible but they did it.
“We have to aim high and believe that this is our time.”
MORE: Junior Cup semi-final offers Ahoghill a chance to fly the flag for their league
MORE: Newington YC restore pride despite losing epic Intermediate Cup semi-final
Hanover’s players will make the 33-mile trip to Castledawson with good company.
They have sold out a number of supporter buses ensuring they will have great backing as they takle to the Mill Meadow terraces.
And Hyndes wants the team to match the efforts of the support and play with confidence and desire and with freedom of expression.
“The club is absolutely buzzing,” he said. “There are two full buses going up to the game plus our own bus.
“That’s brilliant backing on a Wednesday night and those supporters will be in full voice.
“Our supporters see this as our final so there’s absolutely no pressure on the boys. All of the pressure is on Limavady and I’ve been in that position myself as a player.Read More
“It’s not nice because it’s a no-win situation. We will stick to the same routine that we’ve had throughout the season because it’s served us well,” Hyndes continued.
“There will be nerves but if you say you’re not nervous for a game like this then you’re lying.
“All 16 in the squad are worthy of starting the game which gives us great options.
“I know I would give anything to be playing in this one so the boys can feel proud to be doing so.”