McStay may shuffle pack ahead of summer
Roscommon manager Kevin McStay has hit out at criticism of his players but admits that there will be personnel changes ahead of a possible Connacht championship showdown with Leitrim.
Speaking after Roscommon’s win over Cavan in their final National League Division One game last Sunday, McStay said: “The win was great and great for everyone in the whole camp, players, backroom team, and everyone. A win is everything and I am very pleased with the application and effort of the players.
“I don’t think that people understand how constant criticism affects the likes of Niall Kilroy or Gary Patterson. Those lads have to go out and play through that and do what they do.
“We have worked so hard on the likes of Niall Kilroy. He is not saying he is Bernard Brogan but he is saying that he is from Roscommon sand he is putting in a huge effort and he is one of the fittest and strongest young lads on our team. He does everything for the love of putting on that Roscommon jersey and playing for the team and all he and any of the rest of the players is a fair break.
“I don’t want to be harping on about him (Niall Kilroy) but it is an example of the effort that these lads are putting in.
“The panel has been reviewed and we had a meeting yesterday (Saturday). Some people will be leaving the panel and some more will be coming in and that will all be revealed over the next 10 days or two weeks.”
One addition will be St. Brigid’s clubman Ian Kilbride, who was at Dr. Hyde Park last Sunday during a break from his tour of duty with the Defence Forces.
The Roscommon manager was happy to have him back: “We had Ian Kilbride here togged out today but we were not going to play him in the match. He is on holidays and he will be coming back into the panel panel later, but I wanted him to be around the panel today and say hello to the lads. It was a lift for us and another positive step along the way.”
Looking ahead to the Connacht Championship, McStay highlighted the need to increase the intensity at training sessions over the next three months.
“We have 11 weeks to the Leitrim match and that time has to be used well and wisely and we have to get the conditioning up to championship levels in the next eight weeks or so. We have to put this Connacht semi-final front and centre of everything we are doing because if we win that game our season opens up. That’s a huge focus for us and we have to get our best team out on the field,” he concluded.