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FINAL JOY FOR TIM.

CLIFTONVILLE star Tim McCann yesterday received the perfect boost before the Reds meet Linfield in tonight's Coca Cola Cup final at Windsor Park.

The 26-year-old winger secured fresh employment, after losing his job as a company representative five weeks ago.

``There were cutbacks, but I have been offered a new start on Tuesday, next with another firm,'' said the B international winger.

``It's a load off my mind, quite a relief. The job comes at the right time also, at the end of the football season. And what a season I've had, my 10th with Cliftonville.

``Now I can go out and enjoy myself in this final, which will be a tremendous occasion for the players and the supporters.

McCann continued: ``We walk on to Windsor Park as the new league champions. It is unbelievable we've achieved the premier award. It's a bit hard to take it all in.

``We must concentate and make it a mini-double, the league and another trophy.

"I'm looking forward to getting into the spaces at Windsor, and I'm desperate to try and finish the season not only with another trophy win but also to score a goal.''

Mercurial McCann has been stuck on 12 goals since New year's Day, but he has been Cliftonville's ace provider.

``It's about time I scored again. My last goal was against Coleraine. I'd love to hit the winner in this final. Still I really don't mind who scores - so long as we win," he said.

``The goals have been spread around. Big Barry O'Connor has 17, Jody Tolan nine, and Harry McCourt has seven.

``We want to redeem ourselves after losing to Linfield three-nil in our last meeting.''

Tearaway Tim anticipates rip-roaring carnival clash.

``I know we have been celebrating quite a bit since winning the Gibson Cup. It's one `do' after another, before we shut down in Thursday night's Mickey Donnelly Testimonial game against Newry Town at Solitude.

Blues boss David Jeffrey may make a small adjustment to his formation.

During the closing championship game he brought on converted right-back Jamie Marks to replace midfield veteran Alan Byrne.

``Byrne was not firing on all cylinders. We also take the usual rain check on Tommy McDonald, who still has an on-going back injury. We will decide before kick-off," said Jeffrey.

``It's great to be assured of European football next season, and now we can concentrate on winning a third trophy of the season.

``Any match between these two teams is a tremendous attraction.

``We had trouble against the Reds for most of the season, until the last league match, when we beat them 3-0.But they recovered, and went on to take the Gibson Cup.''
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Dunne, Glen
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 28, 1998
Words:447
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