Longford manager Eugene McCormack admitted that his side came up against a very good Kildare outfit in the Leinster Junior Football Final Championship.
Although disappointed with the defeat the Carrickedmond clubman couldn’t fault the effort of his players: “It’s just disappointing that we came out the wrong end of it. Coming up here to Newbridge was going to be a big ask for us but the lads fought really hard and I have to give them great credit. It was a very good Kildare side and I couldn’t ask any more of the lads,” he told the Leader.
It was McCormack’s second provincial final defeat as county boss after the U-21s lost to Kildare earlier this year: “It’s frustrating to lose the two finals but we will get over that. It’s a sport and you have to take the rough with the smooth. The one thing that we showed is that we are being competitive but we need to move on a few notches if we are to compete with the likes of Kildare. We have been competitive at Under 21 level and now in the Junior grade and I am proud of the lads.”
Looking at the progress Kildare have made at junior level over the years McCormack is delighted with his team’s performance in the current campaign: “That’s Kildare’s third Leinster Junior Final in a row. You could see there was progression there. Prior to this final appearance Longford hadn’t moved on a step at Junior, we took things for granted. This year I tried to instil a bit of belief and passion and I think the lads bought into that.”
The Longford boss hopes that the county remain competitive at Junior level and use it as a back-up for the senior panel: “In some way you could use this as a development squad. That’s the road to go down; dangle the carrot for the lads who want to be seen by the senior management. Show them what you want in terms of progress and put the platform there for lads. We need to keep this as back-up to our senior team. If we take it away there will be a huge void.”