Roscommon ready for league lift-off

Roscommon footballers play their first game in the top division of gaelic football in over a decade when they line up against Monaghan at Kiltoom.

  To say that this is an important game for Roscommon would be underestimating it big time. This game will set the tone for the entire season. It is a game that Roscommon are definitely capable of winning, yet they will know very quickly what life in Division One will be like. Monaghan will be no pushovers. They won the Ulster title only a couple of years ago and they have some marvellous players in their ranks.

  The game is previewed in more detail elsewhere in People Sport this week. A win would take the pressure off the team, with trips to Kerry and Cork to come. It’s anyone’s guess what will be the starting line-up because the management have looked at so many players over the course of the FBD League.

  It’s a crying shame that the game cannot be played at Dr Hyde Park but that’s an argument that we will have to have another day. Kiltoom is a fine pitch and it might suit Roscommon.

  It would be brilliant to start the campaign with a win. But remember that Monaghan will have this game earmarked for a win for them and it will be a very difficult for the Rossies. There will be about 3,000 people in Kiltoom.

  Meanwhile, there will be at least 40,000 in Croke Park on Saturday night for the league opener when Dublin play Kerry. It’s hard to believe that we are in the same division as them. Dublin to win for me. 

  Also in Division One, Down are at home to Donegal and in this division home advantage is huge. Down have a chance here, but Donegal will be the favourites.

  In Castlebar, Cork will be the visitors and they are an excellent league side. Mayo have a lot of injuries. Maybe Mayo can still win it.

  It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride folks, so strap in tight. To survive in this division would be a marvellous achievement and it would be a huge boost to everyone with the championship coming up.