Mulligan: Winning run gives us belief

Leitrim skipper Emlyn Mulligan is hoping for a club and county championship double this weekend as he prepares to face Roscommon at Hyde Park.

Mulligan: Winning run gives us belief

Mulligan (26) will lead his county into the Connacht championship clash with the Rossies on Sunday, but will have to sit out Saturday’s Dublin SFC first round tie for his adopted club St Brigid’s.

Sean Hagan’s side have already defeated Roscommon in 2014, following their FBD League final victory, but Mulligan realises their newly-promoted neighbours will be a different proposition on their home patch.

“We’ve played 11 competitive games this year and we’ve only lost two, it has to be one of our better years in terms of results. So that gives us confidence ahead of Sunday,” said Mulligan.

“But Roscommon are flying. They’ve had a couple of big weeks with promotion, the Division 3 final and the U21 final, so hopefully they might have forgotten us a bit,” he said.

Injury has hampered Mulligan throughout his career, and but for a niggly calf injury last summer, Leitrim could well have made it as far as the Connacht final instead of London. It’s 14 years since Leitrim progressed to that stage of the competition – all of the remaining Connacht counties have been in it since – and the former Melvin Gaels man reckons the defending champions are still well ahead of the chasing pack.

“You’d have to say Mayo are the team to beat in Connacht, but I’m sure Roscommon would like to have something to say about it too.

“Mayo got the win in New York, and they won’t be complacent against ourselves or Roscommon in the semi. They’ll be favourites to win for the next few years too, but nobody is unbeatable,” he said.

Clontarf stand in the way of St Brigid’s reaching the second round in Dublin and Mulligan says he’ll be back to help his side if they pick up that win. He thinks playing at such a competitive level has lifted his game.

“I’m enjoying it; even the league games up there are very competitive. That was one thing I was finding at home. I’d be turning up to league games and I wasn’t getting up for them as much as I should. I had lost a wee bit of hunger. But it’s different now. Every game is as serious as a national league game in my eyes. Hopefully the boys can get through it and I’ll be back for the next day out.”

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