Michael Quinn pleased with the preparations

Michael Quinn surging forward for Longford in evading the challenge of Offaly opponent Eoin Carroll. Action from the National Football League Division 3 game at O'Connor Park in Tullamore in early March. Photo: Kevin Leavy
By Deniese O’Flaherty

By Deniese O’Flaherty

After a disappointing league campaign, Longford player Michael Quinn believes that a win against Offaly in the Leinster Championship first round game on Sunday next could kick-start their season.

Speaking to the Leader Quinn said: “Both teams are coming off the back of relegation and it is a huge game. Hopefully we will get the support; it’s a home game so we should get a good crowd out. The championship can turn a bad league campaign around; a good win against Offaly and you set the ball rolling. That’s what we are looking at, one game at a time.”

Preparations for the championship game began in earnest at the start of the year, then once the league finished Longford were able to concentrate completely on Offaly. Quinn admitted things have been going well in recent weeks: “This is something that has been building all year. We have new faces in, new management. Things have changed a bit and we are slowly starting to get things right. There are patches and glimpses of what we used to be playing like a couple of years ago. We are trying new things and new players; it just takes a little time to get right. The last couple of weeks have been very good in our preparations and the training sessions have gone well.”

Quinn admitted he has been looking forward to Sunday’s game against Offaly for a while now. “The way the Gaelic football season falls you could go six to eight weeks without a game. Obviously it’s not the ideal situation with a match that far away but you have to make sure to put the effort in at training. We have been doing that and trying to put a plan in place and it is coming along nicely.”

It has been a long year for the Killoe man with club, county, colleges football with DCU and being involved with Leinster in the Interprovincial series. “It has been fairly busy. Getting in hard sessions and you are looking that you are not pushing yourself too much. That’s the fine line between players being burnt out. You want to go to play with your club and then you are expected to be fresh for a county game on the Sunday (challenge match). You don’t want to be the one that is injured for the big championship games,” said Quinn.

Longford’s record at senior level in Leinster has been poor in the recent past as they only managed one provincial championship win during the five years of the Glenn Ryan regime; at home to Laois in 2012. Quinn knows just how important Sunday’s game is for the county: “You can build it up almost too much. I suppose one win in five is not good enough, we should be winning more first round games. We believe we can beat Offaly and hopefully that will be the outcome on Sunday.”