Jimmy Callacher programme article

Posted : 23rd February 2019

Last week Linfield ended an eleven year wait as skipper Jamie Mulgrew held the League Cup aloft at an electric Windsor Park. The Blues hadn’t tasted League Cup success since 2008 when Glenn Ferguson’s late winner downed Crusaders and this time Andrew Waterworth was the hero with the winning goal over Ballymena United.

The Blues had to see off much Ballymena pressure in the second half and a typically strong performer at the back was Jimmy Callacher. Given Jimmy hails from ‘The Village’ just down the road from Windsor Park, the South Belfast man was understandably delighted to pick up another winners medal.

“Winning any trophy is great and it was well documented before the game that the League Cup hadn’t been won in a while, so we were determined to try and win and thankfully we were able to do that on the day. Any trophy you win is special and I’m just delighted to get another winners medal. I think the final was a good game. We were able to dig in and grind the result out which was nice, but cup finals are all about winning and thankfully we were able to do that.”

As fate has it, Linfield and Ballymena United lock horns once again at Windsor Park this afternoon, this time in a crucial ‘top of the table’ Danske Bank Premiership clash. The Blues go into the game six points ahead of second placed Ballymena who have a game in hand. 27-year-old defender Callacher believes that last week’s final won’t have any bearing on today, however.

“Going into this week’s game we will go in like any other game - well prepared. The Cup final last week will have no bearings on whatever happens in this one - they are two different games. All the games are tough in this league, so we won’t change our approach. We go in with the same objectives as every week which is to get the 3 points.”

“Winning games gives you belief, but we are just taking things a game at a time and trying to win our next game and see where that will take us come the end of the season. There is still a long way to go and a lot of football to be played.”

As well as hitting the headlines for netting an impressive nine goals this season, the defender has been outstanding at the back alongside Josh Robinson. Behind them was Roy Carroll and together they racked up countless clean sheets and went more than 10 hours without conceding a league goal before veteran goalkeeper Carroll sustained a season-ending injury. Callacher says the Northern Ireland international ‘keeper is a big loss but he’s backing his successor to do a good job in goal.

“I am gutted for the big man. Roy is a huge loss and a goalkeeper who is irreplaceable. But in Gareth Deane and Conor Mitchell we have very good replacements as you’ve seen in the games so far that Roy has missed. Gareth made a massive penalty save away to Newry at 1 nil which I think showed he’s more than capable. Big Conor has been super too, so we are well covered in my opinion.”

After seeing Windsor Park bouncing last week, Callacher has asked the fans for more of the same ahead of today’s big game which could have big consequences at the top of the table. The defender believes the supporters can play a big part in an exciting end to the season.

“The supporters always turn up in their numbers for us and hopefully we can repay them with some more silverware. From now to end of the season all we ask as players is for them to get right behind us and let’s see where it takes us.”

Congratulations to Jimmy and his teammates on their League Cup success and everyone connected with the club will wish him every success for the remaining eleven games this season.
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