The Portarlington footballers will begin their first Leinster club championship campaign in 20 years against St Loman’s on Sunday.
O’Moore Park is the venue for the game which throws in at 2pm and the Laois side are narrow favourites against the Westmeath men.
On this week’s Talking Sport Podcast with LaoisToday, captain Keith Bracken says the support his side have received has been incredible.
Initially from Portarlington but since they retained the Jack Delaney Cup, he says well wishes have come in from across the county.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Bracken is hoping that as many people as possible will make their way to O’Moore Park to support his team.
Keith said: “The atmosphere in O’Moore Park was spine-tingling a few weeks ago.
“With the limited crowd at the 2020 final, we hadn’t experienced anything like that before.
“The support really drove us on and it would be great to have that crowd and more with us on Sunday because it really is like that extra man having it behind you.
“Around the county, people have been great too. The Portlaoise lads were brilliant too, they came over to us after the final and we are very thankful for that.
“Hopefully now we can go out and do it on Sunday against Lomans.”
Looking back at the last few months, Keith says it has been a huge honour to have captained this group of players.
He said: “To bring Jack Delaney back once was something but to do it twice in a couple of months was really something else.
“When Martin Murphy came in first, he made myself and Jason Moore joint-captains. Jason is a phenomenal leader.
“He unfortunately had to go overseas then but for the rest of us to go and win it a second time – it left me very proud to be in the position I was.
“You dream of winning one, so to win it twice and to be able to lead the lads was a huge honour.”
Portarlington v St Loman’s (Westmeath) takes place in O’Moore Park this Sunday, December 5, at 2pm