Moran confident young guns can step up
By Rory Houston – @RTESundayGame
Leitrim Manager Mickey Moran has praised the attitude and commitment of his young team ahead of the Connacht Senior Football match with Sligo in Markievicz Park on Sunday.
Leitrim make the trip to Sligo with little expectation on their shoulders, with Moran naming seven Championship debuntants for the clash with the Yeatsmen.
There has been signs in the league campaign and in recent challenge matches that the young side could have what it takes to pose a serious threat to Kevin Walshs men.
Moran has acknowledged that the hard work has been done by the Leitrim players.
It remains to be seen what happens on Sunday but the young lads have worked very hard all year. We had a big natural turnover at the end of last year from the previous year.
We lost about four Championship forwards all to emigration and work commitments. Weve got lots on young players and their enthusiasm and spirit and attitude has been tremendous.
But you dont know until Championship day how they will cope with the pressure. Im quite confident that they will.
Leitrim finished third from bottom in the Allianz League Division 4, awarding a walkover to London in the final game as it was a dead-rubber. After some encouraging performances in the closing stages of the campaign, Moran feels his side are closing to finding the winning touch.
A lot of the media just look at the figures in the table and we were just above Kilkenny and London. We conceded the points to London which I wasnt happy with myself but that is the way it panned out.
The last couple of performances were quite good – the only thing missing was that killer punch. We have worked on that and hopefully we see it on Sunday.
Emlyn Mulligan has been handed a starting role on Sunday after two injury-hit years for the county. An expert free-taker, he will provide a huge boost to the Leitrim side and Moran hopes Mulligan will set about making up for lost time, starting in Markievicz Park.
Emlyn is a very, very talented footballer. He has two bad years in terms of injury. He has worked very hard to recover from the cruciate ligament injuries and it is a lonely cause rehabilitating such an injury. He really has applied himself to it.
He knows himself he has missed a couple of years of football and he doesnt want that to happen again. He is in very, very good shape and has built himself up well.
We have a lot of young lads who have been stepping up to the mark. We have had to do a lot of coaching and the lads have been really attentive and applied themselves.
A semi-final meeting with Roscommon is the prize for the winners of Sundays clash. Sligo will be expected to advance to a date with the Rossies but the Leitrim Manager still has his eyes on an upset, hoping to reward the hard work done by all connected with the countys footballers.
There is a great spirit. It has been tough times as there always is in Leitrim because of turnover and lack of resources but the board and the backroom team have been fantastic.
It is all to do with players and they have been wonderful to work with. I just hope they put in a performance now.
The supporters in Leitrim have been through a lot of lean times but they are marvellous people in terms of their pride and commitment to the team and their support is absolutely phenomenal.
18-May-11 by Colette Fox – PRO