United Park – Westport United's impressive new grounds just off the Golf Course Road – could well see the biggest crowd yet for Sunday's FAI New Balance Junior Cup quarterfinal.
United always attract a good following and Sunday's opponents, Aisling Annacotty from Limerick, are a thriving club and one sure to bring plenty of support to west Mayo.
With a place in the last four of the competition at stake, it's no wonder that Westport United are giving injury-hit David Cameron every chance to be fit for the 2 p.m. kick-off on Sunday afternoon. The talismanic midfielder was due to undergo a fitness test today and manager Padraig Burns said that he would be given up to a minute before the start of the game to recover, if necessary.
Beyond that United are in a good bill of health, barring a few players with minor niggles.
Burns and the Westport management team have done their homework on Aisling Annacotty but instead of concerning themselves too much with the opposition, they're focusing on their own players.
“Really it's all about how we perform on the day,” said Burns. “If we perform like we can do I'm confident we'll get through to the last four, but if we don't then there's a good chance we'll be dumped out of the competition.”
Both clubs beat highly fancied Dublin opposition to reach the quarterfinals. Westport scored a late winner to knock Usher Celtic out at the last 16 stage, a game played at United Park, while Aisling Annacotty went to Ballymun and came away with a similar 1-0 victory.
Sunday's visitors have shown huge ambition in recent years by establishing a professional coaching structure, and it's paying dividends at local, regional and national level. The club has over 1,000 members and fields 54 teams across all age groups in male and female competitions.
No doubt capturing the FAI Junior Cup is one of their ambitions but they'll have to overcome a hungry Westport United outfit on Sunday if they are to win it this year. Home advantage might just sway it for the Mayo club this time.