Longford defender Patrick Fox has the ball in a tight grasp in this tussle with Derry opponent Paul McNeill. Action from the Allianz NFL Division 3 game at Celtic Park last October Picture: Tom Heaney
The Longford senior footballers will start the Covid delayed 2021 season at home to Derry in Division 3 North of the National League on May 15/16.
It’s a tough league campaign for Padraic Davis and his players with the big clash against Ulster champions Cavan at Breffni Park and then away again with a tricky trip to Fermanagh.
Limerick, Offaly, Wicklow and Munster champions Tipperary will play each other in Division 3 South of the NFL.
The top two in each group will advance to the league semi-finals followed by a league final.
The bottom two in each divisional group will play relegation semi-finals with the two losers of those matches relegated.
In the 2021 Leinster senior football championship, last year's semi-finalists - Laois, Dublin, Kildare and Meath - will all start their campaign at the quarter-final stage while a draw will take place live on RTE Radio on Tuesday morning next for the opening round involving Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Carlow, Wicklow, Louth and Wexford.
The 2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, starting at the end of June, will be played as a straight knock-out competition from the provincial series forward with all the draws happening next Monday and Tuesday, April 19/20.
There will be no Qualifiers and New York and London will not be involved in this year's championship. There will be no Tailteann Cup in 2021.
The Longford senior hurlers will compete in the Lory Meagher Cup Championship along with Monaghan, Louth, Cavan and Fermanagh.
The county hurlers will meet Armagh (away) in the opening round of the National League Division 3A with the other fixtures against Tyrone (home), Sligo (away) and Monaghan (home). Galway native Derek Frehill is back as the manager for another season.
The Longford senior GAA teams are permitted to return to collective training from Monday next, 19 April.
The Longford ladies football team, under the guidance of new manager Brian Noonan (Mostrim), will also be back in training from Monday next April 19 and their opening game in the Lidl National League is scheduled for Sunday 23 May.
Longford will compete in Division 3B, starting at home to Wicklow, and then Laois (home) and Kildare (away). Down, Roscommon, Sligo and Fermanagh play in Division 3A.
With regards to the male 2021 Minor and U-20 Football Championships, details will be finalised when there is clarity on a return to training/play date.
County and Provincial Club Championships will be played in the months of September, October, November, and December with the All-Ireland Club Finals scheduled for February 2022.
It is important to note that the GAA still does not have permission to return to club training or games with only training in pods of 15 allowed in the North.
However, the calendar is set up in such a way that club competitions with county players can take place as county teams exit the Championships.
Covid restrictions permitting!
2021 National League Fixtures
Longford footballers at home to Derry and away to Cavan and Fermanagh in Division 3 North.
Limerick, Offaly, Tipperary and Wicklow will compete in Division 3 South.
Longford hurlers at home to Tyrone and Monaghan and away to Armagh and Sligo in Division 3A.
Longford ladies at home to Wicklow and Laois and away to Kildare in Division 3B.
Down, Roscommon, Sligo and Fermanagh play in Division 3A.