FBD League Semi-Final:
Roscommon v Sligo at the NUIG Connacht Air Dome, Bekan on Saturday at 6 pm
Roscommon footballers will be able to sample the magnificent indoor dome at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence this Saturday evening when they meet Sligo in their first competitive game of the year, and the fans can look forward to seeing several new names on the Roscommon team sheet for the match.
Roscommon manager Anthony Cunningham told the Roscommon People this week that while training has gone very well since they resumed, there remain a number of absentees for various reasons.
“Training has gone well since we started back and there are several new players on the panel but there are a lot of players missing as well. The Pearses and Faithleach’s lads are absent of course, but we have a number of injuries, and the Covid situation means that we are down four to six players every week at the moment,” he said.
Cunningham says that despite the number of players missing, this will be a chance for new panel members to make their mark.
“The only way you will see what players are like is in a competitive match situation and we are really looking forward to this game. We are aiming to have a strong team ready to start the league at the end of January and this is a good way to get the season going,” he added.
The Roscommon manager says he is looking forward to playing indoors in the new air dome: “We have been down there training a couple of times and it is a great facility. The game is certain to go ahead and it will be a very fast game. Sligo will be serious opposition. They scored 1-21 against Leitrim and it should be a really competitive game. The new season will come around really quickly and this is a great way to get started.
“The lads that have been training have worked very hard and they are all mad for football which is great to see, and we will be hoping to win on Saturday night to give us another competitive match prior to the start of the National Football League,” he concluded.
Roscommon will be understrength for the match but a number of last year’s U-20 team are expected to be involved. Sligo, who are managed by Tony McEntee, defeated Leitrim in the quarter-final on Monday night by 1-21 to 1-17 with full forward Niall Murphy scoring 1-10 for the Yeats County. It promises to be a lively start to the year for the Roscommon footballers in unique circumstances. A win would be a bonus but it is by no means a certainty.