Longford captain Dermot Brady has experienced plenty of highs and far more lows while playing for his county but nothing could compare to Sunday’s game in Croke Park and the crushing defeat against Dublin.
Bitterly disappointed Brady tried to explain just what went wrong: “We knew it was going to be tough. Everything Dublin did just worked out for them, nothing went wrong for them. We needed Dublin to have a bit of an off day and for us to play above ourselves; it didn’t happen but we kept trying until the end.”
Having come up against the Dubs on a number of occasions now Brady believes the current bunch is the best he has played against: “They work so hard and make it look so easy when they attacked. They are a great team. They are unbelievable and the best I have played against. They have a huge pick and so many fighting for places on the side.
Although losing and losing heavy is not nice, Brady admitted that it was an experience for the Longford lads to pit themselves against the Dubs.
“We were hoping what happened wouldn’t happen but it was a learning curve for us. It was a good experience being up in Croke Park playing against them. Hopefully we will get a good draw in the All-Ireland qualifiers and see where it takes us. In Leinster they are unbeatable and it is hard to look beyond Dublin.”
After a poor start to the game the captain hoped Longford could re-group at half-time and give it a real go after the break but it didn’t work out like that. Brady said: “We got off to a bad start and came back into it a bit and were hoping when we got out in the second half we might get off to a good start but Dublin turned the screw another little bit. Even at the end they were still going for goals.”
Brady has served Longford very well over the years and loves his football, although he does find it tough at times. When questioned about the Dublin game being his last Leinster Championship appearance, he was coy and didn’t give much away. “We won’t talk about that yet. We will just see what happens. It has got tougher and you need a lot of time for it. I still enjoy it and have been blessed that I haven’t had too many bad injuries. I keep saying once I don’t get injured I will keep going. It’s great though, I love it.”
The Longford players now take a break from the county for the next week and go back to their clubs. Brady is delighted the lads have club games this weekend as they aim to put the Dublin defeat behind them: “You would be glad of the break. It’s good to have club games and we will get a little break away from the county. We will be refreshed when we come back in again for county training and get ready for the qualifiers.”