Friday, May 14, 2004

This may be my last blog until I return from Cardiff. If you watch the game, look for this man. My team hero. I love him.
His name is Keiron Cunningham and he was enduring the worst few months of his life just 12 months ago. The man rated as the best hooker in the world was at risk of sliding out of the game after being innocently caught up in a drugs nightmare. The supplement given to him by a medical officer he thought he could trust but who has since been discredited turned out to be an illegal steroid.
And in the middle of it all, he considered his playing days might be all over.
"Maybe, yes," he admitted. "I was just mentally not there last year. It was a terrible year for me and Saints."

But Cunningham's reputation has been rightfully restored and he is in the best form of his career ahead of Saturday's Challenge Cup showdown with Wigan.
"It feels very good, very good," said the Welshman.
"I don't know what emotions are going through my head right now. It has been a very tough week, but once we get to Cardiff, that is when it hits you.

"After last year, I keep thinking the next final could be the last. Not because I am thinking of giving up the game, it is just that you don't know whether you will reach a final again.
"You are not guaranteed anything."

Cunningham is in an exclusive club of players who have appeared in Challenge Cup finals at Wembley, Twickenham, Murrayfield and now Cardiff.
It is even more special being in South Wales because I have lots of family and friends down there And he reckons the Welsh capital will be the best of the lot.

"Wembley is pretty special because it is Wembley; Twickenham is a good place and Murrayfield is a good place; but Cardiff is something else," said the hooker, who played at the Millennium Stadium for Wales in the last World Cup.
"It is the only ground I know that has an atmosphere when it is empty."

He added: "The emotion is there because it is a final - they always bring a tear to the eye when you walk out.
"But it is even more special being in South Wales because I have lots of family and friends down there. They know what kind of game it will be - crash, bang with a lot of flair."
see you later ........ I am excited and nervous ............