After bringing the coveted Connolly Cup back to the parish for the first time in 17 years last season, the general opinion among GAA followers around the county is that the current crop of Killoe footballers could develop into a serious dominant force for the future.
Emmet Og begin their defence of the Senior Championship title with a massive clash against Longford Slashers in a repeat of the epic 2012 decider that went to a replay and extra-time and the always intriguing battle for the county crown starts this weekend with six first round games down for decision.
The scenic setting of Maguire Park in Ballinalee is the venue for the eagerly awaited rematch this Friday evening (throw-in 8.15pm) and while Slashers are seen as the biggest threat to Emmet Og, a few other clubs will feel that they are capable of making a big impact in the 2013 senior championship.
Clonguish, Dromard, Abbeylara and Mullinalaghta St. Columba’s all come into that bracket along with Colmcille and all depending on the draw for the three rounds in the league stages of the championship, those five teams are expected to join Killoe and Slashers in the quarter-finals.
Last year’s Intermediate champions Granard St. Mary’s will be quietly confident of reaching the last eight but it could be a tough struggle for Fr. Manning Gaels, Mostrim and Ballymahon, taking into account that the bottom four teams in the league table will end up in the round-robin relegation play-offs.
Killashee are the last of the 12 teams competing for the Connolly Cup this year and with no less than three clubs making the drop to the 2014 Intermediate Championship, few can argue with the fact that St. Brigid’s are realistically doomed even before a ball is kicked.
Nothing will be decided this weekend but looking at the bigger picture on the road to the county final on the first Sunday in October, Killoe Emmet Og have a lot of quality in a strong squad and will be hard stopped in the quest to extend their reign as the kings of Longford football.