Things are not going too well for Longford in a poor start to the new season and even at this early stage of the campaign it must be said that the senior side could be facing a tough battle in the quest for promotion out of Division 4 of the National League.
On the evidence of what was witnessed in the disappointing three defeats against DCU, Meath and Westmeath in the O’Byrne Cup by a combined total of 26 points the target of making an immediate return to Division 3 might not materialise in a very competitive league.
The alarm bells will certainly be ringing should the county happen to lose against neighbours Leitrim in the Round 1 fixture at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada on Sunday February 1st and manager Jack Sheedy will certainly be hoping that the injuries to Michael Quinn and Francis McGee (hamstring) will have cleared up by then.
Taking into account that Paul Barden is not expected to be back in action until March at the earliest, Longford certainly cannot afford to be missing the driving force of the versatile Quinn (injured in action for DCU in the O’Byrne Cup) and influential attacker McGee for the short trip to Carrick-on-Shannon.
With goalkeeper Damien Sheridan retired and other regulars Shane Mulligan and John Keegan not involved at this moment in time, the management team are currently working with a rather limited squad such is the significant number of players that are missing. On a positive note the experienced Diarmuid Masterson is back after a lengthy absence.
It is indeed a pity that three of the most promising young footballers in the county at minor and U-21 level in recent years - notably Robbie Smyth, Barry McKeon and James McGivney - are not part of the present Longford senior panel. Smyth and McKeon are unavailable for selection while McGivney is in Australia.
Division 4 Fixtures
Sunday February 1st:
Leitrim v Longford,
Sunday February 8th:
Longford v Antrim, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 2pm
Saturday February 28th: London v Longford, Ruislip, 2pm
Sunday March 8th: Longford v Waterford, Glennon
Brothers Pearse Park, 2pm
Sunday March 15th: Wicklow v Longford, Aughrim, 2pm
Sunday March 29th:
Longford v Offaly, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, 3pm
Sunday April 5th: Carlow v Longford, Dr. Cullen Park, 2pm