gets a look at the Irish Cup [Irish Herald].
FORMER Saints' keeper Gerard Doherty says Sunday's Irish Cup final will be the biggest game
of his career.
Ged left the Saints in January to rejoin Derry City after making 144 Welsh Premier appearances
for the club and winning every other honour on offer, including three league titles, the Welsh
Cup, FAW Premier Cup and League Cup.
Till now, the highlight of his career was facing up to Liverpool in a Champions League tie
at Anfield, but he says next Sunday at the RDS will from now on be seen as the biggest moment
as he lines-up for Derry, his home-town club, against Bohemian.
"It was great for me to play against Liverpool in the Champions League, especially to play
at Anfield, even though we lost the game 3-0," says Doherty, who was in goal for TNS when they
faced Liverpool - newly crowned European champions - in the preliminary rounds of the Champions
League in 2005.
"It was a great honour and it was great exposure for me, but this game on Sunday would mean
a lot more.
"That game, playing against Liverpool in front of 50,000 people at Anfield in the European
Cup was a one-off and it will probably never happen again. So playing in the RDS and winning
that cup medal would mean more to me and to my family.
"I have won a few medals in my career so far, I won the Welsh league and a few cups in Wales
with TNS, I also won the League Cup with Derry a few weeks ago, but the FAI Cup is so much
bigger. Apart from the league it's the one thing you want to win in your career, so I am determined
to go out on Sunday against Bohs and do that," added Doherty, who has established himself in
the Derry side this season, having taken over in goal at the start of the season when Darren
Quigley got injured.
"It's been a good week for us. Everyone in the team is experienced when it comes to finals.
A lot of the lads were here at Derry two years ago when they won the FAI Cup and we have won
the League Cup this season already, so we know what it takes to win a cup.
"Our heads will be focused on Sunday and winning that cup. No matter what happens this has
been a good season for us; we finished in the top three, we won the League Cup and qualified
for Europe, but that doesn't mean we'll be taking it easy on Sunday - we are hungry to win
"Sunday will look after itself. We are experienced enough to know what's at stake and how to
go about our business," added Doherty.
"I think we can do well against Bohs. We are one of the few teams who have caused them problems
this season; they haven't beaten us or even scored against us in the league."
Despite his relatively young age of 27, Doherty is one of the more experienced players in the
Derry side. He was just 17 when he made his first-team debut for City, way back in the 1998/99
season when regular keepers David Platt and Tony O'Dowd were injured.
Doherty made only two appearances for the Candystripes before Derby County came in with a bid
and in March 1999 he moved to England.
Within a few months he was also an underage international - but for the Republic - as the Derry
man opted to play for the south and played for Brian Kerr's Under-19 side against Germany in
Dublin, featuring in the same side as future internationals Jon Douglas, Andy Reid and Liam
But his career never progressed at Derby and after loan spells in the English non-league scene
he moved on to TNS, enjoying six successful seasons before moving home.
Doherty added: "It's been great for me since I came home to play in Derry. It was always an
honour to play for your home-town club, it means more to us to play for Derry than players
at other clubs. I just hope I can finish off the season with another medal."
- Aidan Fitzmaurice [Irish Herald]