Starvation for glory amongst exiles is evident to see
If anybody felt there wasn’t a enough degree of ambition among the many groups getting into the Tailteann Cup, then final weekend goes some technique to answering that.
he London soccer squad and supervisor Michael Maher obtained out of their beds within the wee hours of Saturday to board a flight to Knock airport – Belfast was too costly.
As soon as they landed, they boarded a bus certain for Enniskillen, the place they performed Fermanagh in a problem match.
It’s the kind of factor that has seldom been achieved earlier than with the Exiles, however is a credit score to their formidable administration of Maher and what may occur with a workforce mad for street, arising towards others who won’t share the identical urge for food for the GAA’s second tier soccer competitors.
“Look, it’s a huge alternative for counties in Divisions Three and 4 in my view,” Maher says.
“We’re treating it with the respect it deserves. For us in London, we deal with each recreation like it’s a Championship recreation. No recreation takes extra choice over one other; the league is our Championship, and the Championship is our Championship.
“For each recreation, we take it on the identical deserves and provides the identical software.”
After the sport, there was no diversion or an exploration of the island city. It was straight to the Belmore Court docket Motel for the night time and again up at 9am Sunday to start out the journey residence. They returned in time to have their toes up in entrance of the tv to observe Donegal play Cavan.
“It was to get a problem recreation. It was a superb recreation, a draw recreation. Each groups obtained extra out of that than they’d have in 5 coaching periods so it was great,” stated Maher.
London may very well be price maintaining a tally of within the Tailteann Cup. Final January, they took one other journey to Ulster, the place they performed the Down and Armagh Underneath-20 groups over the course of a weekend.
It prompted their biggest ever begin to the Nationwide League after they beat Carlow, Waterford and Leitrim.
Whereas they fell to Leitrim within the Connacht Championship, there was solely a single level in it when Ryan O’Rourke struck for a late Leitrim aim that settled the difficulty.
“Any workforce in Division Three and 4 will say, ‘with a bit little bit of luck on our facet, we may win this,’ and isn’t it great to say you’ll be able to win a contest?” asks Maher.
His sentiments tallied with that of New York supervisor, Johnny McGeeney of Culloville, Armagh. He stated earlier than they confronted Sligo of their first recreation for the reason that 2019 Championship defeat to Mayo, “For me, the large assertion is us getting again into the All-Eire Junior Championship. I don’t assume there shall be any large shock Sunday, being practical. However the boys will get a style for it after which hopefully, look to the Tailteann Cup and Junior Championship.”
Extra established groups than the Exiles have stored an open thoughts. After Fermanagh beat Laois in spherical three of the Nationwide League, it regarded like a promotion bid – and avoiding the Tailteann Cup – was very practical.
Regardless of that, supervisor Kieran Donnelly drew on his personal experiences in assessing the prospect of ending up within the Tailteann Cup.
“Again in our time once we received the All-Eire ‘B’, I did really feel as a county it gave us confidence. We received the McKenna Cup off the again of it and went to Division One for 2 or three years on the again of that as effectively,” he stated.
“It’s profitable collectively as a workforce, and this new system permits that, and lets you progress to the subsequent degree. It’s positively win-win for everyone.”
Not all really feel this manner. Within the wake of Down’s defeat to Monaghan within the Ulster Championship, their attacker Barry O’Hagan was forthright.
“I don’t care about it, to be sincere. I do know it’s a soccer competitors and I do know the Joe McDonagh Cup works effectively for hurling. However all of us need to be within the All-Eire. For me personally, I don’t know in regards to the group, I’ve little or no curiosity in it.”
Proper now, the format is inflicting anguish, and the unique plan of a round-robin, guaranteeing a significant programme of video games, has been scrapped for a knock-out competitors.
We’ll reserve judgement, till it performs out.
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