Dromard and county goalkeeper Damien Sheridan has spoken of his admiration for Longford Slashers ahead of their county final meeting at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday next.
He told the Leader that the town side have set the standard for other teams in Longford to follow. “They have been the dominant force in Longford over the past decade; either contesting finals and in recent times winning them. They have been the best side in the last four years and probably even the last ten seasons. They really raised the bar that Killoe had to come up to last year. Every club this year has had to raise themselves to get up to the level that Slashers have been setting.”
Sheridan knows only too well the challenge that is in store for the Dromard team on Sunday. “The big challenge for us is that we have to raise our standards to get to where Slashers are. If we want to win it then we have to exceed that. That’s the position we are in and we know what we have to do in our bid to win the county title. Slashers know how to win matches and know how to get results. Denis Connerton’s teams have always won matches.”
It has been three years since Dromard were last in a county senior championship final and Damien is delighted that his club are back there again. But he admitted that there was no talk or aim of reaching a county final at the start of the year. “We had no great reason to have any real confidence at the start of the championship. We got to a semi-final last year, put up a good display on the first day but Killoe got better for the replay and then in both games in the decider. It’s a good feeling to be back in the final. It is a few years since we have been this far and we certainly had our lows. If we can improve our game on Sunday then I am hopeful we can do it.”
Looking back on the 2010 final when Slashers came out on top, Sheridan is hoping that Dromard have learned a lot from that game and they now know what is required in the revenge mission on Sunday if they are to win.
“In 2010 we were never really in the game and it was over from early enough, although we did stage a late comeback. Slashers were a far superior team than us back then. Hopefully we can take it into the last 10 minutes on Sunday and be there or thereabouts towards the end to be in with a chance.”
Sheridan is a long serving Dromard player in this his 16th senior season with the club. He has experienced both the highs and lows on the pitch but is still enjoying his football. “I love it, though it takes a lot longer for the body to recover after games now,” he laughed. “I can remember very little of the first county senior final I was involved in back in 1999 but it is always a great occasion and the exciting build up creates a tremendous buzz in the parish.”