Sligo star eyes Connacht crown

Sligo's goal-scoring forward David Kelly says that his side will not be affected by the hype gripping the county in the wake of last Saturday's Connacht SFC semi-final replay win over Galway.

Sligo supporters were in seventh heaven following the gritty Markievicz Park triumph, and Kelly wants them to turn out in large numbers for the July 18 decider against Roscommon in Castlebar.

"It was huge. When the goal went in, you couldn't hear yourself think," he said.

"The place went absolutely crazy and afterwards it was crazy. Hopefully now on Sunday week, for the final, the support will be behind us as well."

The momentum and media attention surrounding Sligo has certainly grown on the back of their disposal of Connacht's 'big two' - Mayo and Galway.

So much so that they are now heavily favoured to secure their second Connacht title in four years, and pose a threat as dark horses to win the All-Ireland, with a current pricing of 25/1.

Kelly says that the Yeats men will not drop their focus as the pressure increases on them to deliver the Nestor Cup next week.

"I think it was the same hype after the Mayo game as well - because we hadn't beaten Mayo in so long - so there is hype there, but we are completely focused on the next game.

"The next game is against Roscommon, we are not thinking about anything else, or what anyone else is saying. Our group is a tight-knit group and we are just focused completely on the Connacht final."

Kelly, who has been in devastating form in recent weeks, has been showered with personal accolades of late. He received man-of-the-match awards for the win over Mayo and the drawn game against Galway, and was today announced as the Opel GPA Footballer of the Month for June.

He says that personal accolades are nice to receive, but that a Connacht title is a more important goal.

"It was brilliant to get the win on Saturday. It was so tight and to pull it out of the bag in the end, it's brilliant.

"I suppose the award is great too, but it's team medals that I want now and anything else is a bonus."

Looking ahead to the Connacht showpiece, Kelly expects a tough test from a Roscommon team that, he feels, is building momentum at just the right time.

"I think they started off slowly. They had a poor league, but since that they have performed well and got a good few wins. They have a young team, an ambitious team.

"Some very good forwards, good players all around the pitch...so they are a dangerous team.

"Roscommon are never an easy team to beat, and there won't be much between us on Sunday week."

It is a Roscommon team that Kelly is hugely familiar with, having played alongside the likes of Donal Shine, their main free-taker, in college at DCU.

"I'm friendly with four or five of them in DCU, and I know a few more of them," added the Tubbercurry clubman.

"It's the same with a lot of the lads in Sligo that were in college with boys from Roscommon.

"There's good friends there as well, but on Sunday week there will be a battle and afterwards we'll have a chat."

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