FBD Connacht SF League Round 1:
Roscommon v Sligo at The Dome, Ballyhaunis on Friday at 7 pm
It seems to roll around quicker with every year that passes, but Roscommon senior footballers are back in competitive action for another season this Friday night when they face Sligo in the FBD League in the Dome in Ballyhaunis with the winners facing Mayo or London in the semi-final the following Friday night, 12th of January (at 7 pm).
Roscommon manager Davy Burke says he is very happy with the attitude of all the players since they returned to training in late November.
Burke says that he is looking forward to returning to competitive action to see how the players react. “I have to say that I have been delighted with the response of the players since we came back to training. The attitude has been top class and the players are determined to drive on this year and I couldn’t be happier at this early stage” he said.
“The players have trained very hard but you can’t beat matches to see how players perform and the players themselves prefer to be playing matches too”.
There are several new faces on the Roscommon panel and some very welcome ‘returnees’ as well.
“Ultan Harney is back and is probably a few weeks away from full fitness – as he has a knock at the moment – but he is training away. The same is the case for Tadhg O’Rourke, who is working hard too. Cathal Heneghan is back to full fitness and he has been phenomenal since we started training. He will be a huge boost to us.
“We have a few new faces too such as Senan Lambe, Evan Flynn and James Fitzpatrick and a lot of these lads will get their chance during the Allianz National League and they can claim a place if they do well – but it’s early days yet”.
There has been a shake-up in the backroom team too, and Burke is very positive about that ahead of the new season.
“Lar Wall (who replaced Mark McHugh) has been tremendous. He is a fantastic coach and his attention to detail has to be seen to be believed”.
Davy wants to start the year with a win on Friday night but knows that it will not be easy without a number of players who are on club duty.
“The more games we get in preparation for the (national) league the better and we will be targeting a win on Friday night. We need a bit of momentum going into the season… let’s see where that takes us. But we have a limited panel and we are without the Castlerea and St Brigid’s players so we will have to put in a big effort with the players we have. We are looking forward to it”.
Roscommon have a very good recent record against Sligo at senior level and while Friday night’s game should be competitive, Roscommon should have enough quality to get their season off to a winning start.