Longford’s three outings in this season’s O’Bryne Cup has given new manager Jack Sheedy plenty to ponder.
Two wins and a defeat, albeit it a decisive one to Kildare, has left the Dubliner quietly contented with what he has seen.
“We have got a lot out of the games,” he said, in the immediate aftermath of his side’s one point win over Athlone IT on Sunday.
“Every single lad that we’ve had in; some of the experienced lads, some of the inexperienced lads, everyone put their hand up and wanted to play for Longford. That’s the most important thing. The lads are very enthusiastic.”
Getting that sense of self -confidence and pride in the Longford jersey is clearly one of Sheedy’s main aspirations this season.
And despite a 3-20 to 0-06 taming at the hands of Jason Ryan’s title-holders proving a humbling exercise, Sheedy wants Longford to learn from the defeat.
“People will look at the result and see we got hammered by Kildare but the majority of guys who played against us have been on the road anywhere from two to five years. They’ve had that kind of development. We’ve guys who have never been on the senior panel before. We are trying to develop depth and have a development squad around the squad,” he said.
Individually, Sheedy singled out the impact made by the likes of Padraig Gill and Simon Kiernan, the former attracting plenty of plaudits with his goal-getting exploits against Athlone IT at the weekend.
“Today (Sunday) was about getting a result. We had guys in there; big Simon Kiernan, who hasn’t played at this level before. That was his first start. He has a lot of ability, is learning, has a lot to learn too but he’s trying his best. Padraig is a guy that came in full of enthusiasm. He is a great asset and a good guy on the ball going forward.”
Sheedy, too, appears to be enjoying himself as the dust settles on his first few games as Longford manager.
“I’m loving it, but that’s coming from everyone’s input. They’re very enthusiastic to learn and that gives us a chance,” he added.