Longford manager Glenn Ryan wants to end what has been a fantastic league campaign by capturing the Division 3 title on Saturday evening by beating Wexford at Croke Park.
Ryan is delighted with how well his players performed in the league and the fact they went unbeaten. “It’s great. You would have to be happy with the current situation, no point playing it down. We’ll take it for what it is. Now hopefully we can win something on Saturday,” he told the Leader.
Longford got out of Division 4 last year and it is a marvellous achievement to secure back-to-back promotions. It has also given the players the chance to play in a final at Croke Park for the second season in a row. Ryan admitted not many counties get that opportunity. “There are only a few counties every year that have the opportunity of winning a trophy in Croke Park. It’s a big day out for us and I’m looking forward to it.”
Having played Saturday’s opponents, Wexford, in the league recently the Longford boss knows just what to expect from them. “I think they should have been in Division 2 last year as they were very unlucky not to get promoted. They went on to reach the 2011 Leinster Final and ran the eventual All-Ireland champions Dublin very close.”
“We made several changes for the league game against them. It was a great opportunity for fellas to show what they are capable of. The most pleasing fact was that five U-21s finished the game. So for us to be able to do that, be competitive and beat a team like Wexford is hugely pleasing. It should be a right good game on Saturday and we’ll be hoping to win it.”
Towards the end of the league campaign Longford had to do without a few players through injury. Ryan hopes to have them back for Saturday’s game with the notable exception of David Barden. “We said when they got injured that they won’t be pushed for the game against Wexford in order to get it sorted and most things have cleared up at this stage. Saturday’s league final is an important game but Laois in the Leinster Championship is the match we want everyone to be right for. We have a strong panel, which has been very important for us during the unbeaten league campaign,” concluded the quietly confident Longford manager.