Karol quietly confident

Roscommon team captain Karol Mannion was quietly confident about the big match when I met him at an early-morning training session at Hyde Park last Sunday morning.   Fresh from the one-week training camp in Portugal the big St. Brigids man is rearing to go in the 2007 championship.   He says that having fulfilled one goal  – that of securing promotion to Division Two of the League next year  – the next goal of a Connacht title is now in the sights of the Roscommon players.   ‘We were delighted to have gained promotion and that was the target all along. I know that it was disappointing  to have lost to Meath in the final but that’s behind us now and we are really looking forward to Sunday’ he told me.    I asked Karol did he think it was a disadvantage to be one of the last teams in the country to play in the championship.    ‘Not really, we had those two games in the league and then we had the training week in Portugal so that shortened the time’ he said.    Karol is expecting a stiff challenge from Sligo.   ‘This will be a tough game no doubt. We know Sligo and the way they play and they haven’t lost too many players since we last played them in 2004 and on that occasion they brought us to a replay so we know that it’s going to be tough but if we win by a point or two we will be quite happy’ he said.    The team captain was at pains to stress the benefit of the training stint in Portugal.    ‘It’s brought on the young players on the panel hugely. We now have a very strong panel and the training week was brilliant for the players to generate a good spirit in the camp which is  excellent’ he said.    Karol says that the Roscommon fans can expect to see a good Roscommon performance on Sunday.    ‘There’s a quiet confidence among the players about this game. The injuries we had are clearing up and the run in the league has given us great confidence. We can’t wait to get out there on Sunday next. That’s what we have been training for over the past six months. We’re rearing to go’ concluded Karol before joining is team-mates for another gruelling session in the early-morning heat.