While everyone wrote off Longford’s chances ahead of their qualifier game with Derry, manager Jack Sheedy was quietly confident his players could produce the performance they are capable of and cause a massive upset.
Speaking after Longford’s dramatic win Sheedy said: “That’s the reason I wanted the Longford job because I knew that level of performance and the character of those guys that wear that jersey. It meant an awful lot to them. They deserve it. They gave a massive performance of heart, character but tremendous skill and ability. They’re a fantastic group of intelligent footballers. Let’s hope we can keep it going.”
After the defeat to Wexford in the Leinster Championship Longford analysed their performance and worked hard to right the wrongs of that game. Their manager is delighted that the hard work paid off: “We set about after the Wexford game and discussed a few bit and pieces. Liam (Keenan), Richie (Crean) and I looked at what we could do to get us back on track. We put a plan together and it worked out but it wouldn’t have worked if the lads didn’t make it work. I’m so pleased for them because they’ve put in an enormous amount of work over the last couple of weeks. To deliver a performance like that is outstanding but to get the result to go with it is just phenomenal.”
Longford hurlers wore wristbands with the slogan ‘believe in yourself and follow your dream’ in their quest for Lory Meagher glory. On Saturday last the footballers finally believed in themselves. That’s something that really pleased Sheedy: “I’ve tried to convince guys that belief is a huge part of it and it showed there. We’ve got to keep that belief now. We’ve had a tough year, it hasn’t been easy. I’m a believer that if you continue to do the right thing good things will come to you. There are no guarantees but we did the right things continually and we got the result.”