Quigley: New York must stay in Connacht

New York captain Brendan Quigley says talk of removing the team from the Connacht championship makes no sense in light of the strong preparations they are putting into Sunday’s provincial opener with Mayo.

Quigley: New York must stay in Connacht

The former Laois midfielder has noticed little difference between the inter-county set-up at home and that in the Big Apple apart from less games and tougher work commitments on the other side of the Atlantic.

But there had been some trepidation on his part before he joined Ian Galvin’s set-up. “To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. Looking at the results over the last few years, I would have thought it wasn’t quite up to the standard at home of the training. But we’re hoping this year we can change the trend and put up a good performance against Mayo.

“There’s talks of getting them (New York) out of the Connacht championship. But the way the boys are training, it’d be silly. It’d be terrible to get rid of it.”

A carpenter by trade, the Timahoe man says he’s “flying it” compared to Laois where there was a shortage of work. “At home there’s no point being on a county panel and drawing social welfare. Monday to Friday and no work. It’s no quality of life. I came over here and it was totally based on work. I suppose it is frustrating something can’t be done for players. Lads are putting in such commitment and, I don’t know, lads can’t come up with jobs for them.

“It’s just the way it is in Ireland, that’s the way the economy is, what do you do? You just have to get on with life.”

Quigley has no concerns about the black card on Sunday despite New York having no competitive experience of the new rules compared to Mayo who have had 11 games since the regulations were introduced.

“We had the refs, a couple of guys out showing us the rules. We’re after adapting pretty well. We have training matches and they are refereed. We’re pretty up-to-date with the black cards.

“We’re after playing our own matches, they might not have been the competitive matches Mayo had but it was the same thing. We still have the same refs. They’ve showed us the things we should be doing. We should be good.”

Quigley had been approached by new Laois manager Tomás Ó Flatharta before he headed Stateside but his mind was made up.

“He gave me a call. I just told him the situation and told him there was no work at home , that I would be staying out here. He was happy enough with my decision, I had my decision made and I’m sticking with it and that’s it.”

The 26-year-old’s parents arrive tomorrow to see their son and then take in the game. Gaelic Park mightn’t be O’Moore or Croke Park but the All Star nominee is relishing the match.

“It’s an honour to be a captain of any team, so I was delighted with that. Training over here has been very professional. There wasn’t much of a change. We have gym programmes and all the lads train three nights a week. The commitment out here by all players is great.”

Meanwhile New York named their team for Sunday’s game with debuts given to captain Brendan Quigley, Down pair Gerard McCartan and Keith Quinn, former Donegal player Ross Wherity and former Cork player Denis O’Sullivan. One Mayo native is among the subs, goalkeeper Ray Coyle.

Mayo also named their team last night. James Horan has selected an experienced side for the trip with no fewer than 12 of the starting 15 having featured in last years All-Ireland SFC final. There will be a championship debut for last year’s All Ireland minor winner Diarmuid O’Connor.

MAYO: R Hennelly (Breaffy); T Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), K Keane (Westport), K Higgins (Ballyhaunis); L Keegan (Westport), C Boyle (Davitts), D Vaughan (Ballinrobe); J Gibbons (Ballintubber), A O’Shea (Breaffy); D O’Connor (Ballintubber), S O’Shea (Breaffy), J Doherty (Burrishoole); K McLoughlin (Knockmore), A Moran (Ballaghaderreen (captain), C O’Connor (Ballintubber).

NEW YORK: G Joyce (Cavan NY/Ballymartin, Down); R McGinley (Cavan NY/Errigal Ciarán, Tyrone), G McCartan (Kerry NY/Burren, Down), K O’Connor (Kerry NY/Listowel Emmett’s, Kerry); K Scally (Westmeath NY/Tyrrellspass, Westmeath), P O’Connor (Cork NY/Kilmurry Ibrickane, Clare), D O’Sullivan (Cork NY/Clonakilty, Cork); B Quigley (Captain, Donegal NY/Timahoe, Laois), A Raftery (Cork NY/Oranmore Maree, Galway); P Boyle (Donegal NY/Castlewellan, Down), J Kelly (Offaly NY/Shannonbridge, Offaly), R Wherity (Kerry NY/St Eunans, Donegal); J McGeeney (Armagh NY/Culloville Blues, Armagh), K Quinn (Leitrim NY/Mayobridge, Down), G O’Driscoll (Kerry NY/Skellig Rangers, Kerry)

Subs: R Coyle (Mayo NY/Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin, Mayo), C McCormack (Kerry NY/St Mary’s, Dublin), H Curran (Cork NY/Newcestown, Cork), S McNamee (Cork NY/Crossmaglen Rangers, Armagh), N Farrell (Kerry NY/Donaghmore, Ashbourne, Meath), L Maguire (Leitrim NY/Clones, Monaghan), T Warburton (Cavan NY/Castledaly, Westmeath), J Huvane (St Raymond’s), P Graham (Monaghan NY/Oram Sarsfields, Monaghan), M Reilly (Cavan NY/Shercock, Cavan), R Morgan (Armagh NY/Keady Micheal Dwyers, Armagh).

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