Sean Purcell aiming to keep Roscommon’s resurgence going

Sean Purcell was only a spectator as Roscommon swept through the divisions over the past two years but now he is an integral part of the side which is taking the country by storm.

Sean Purcell aiming to keep Roscommon’s resurgence going

The 30-year-old took a season out two years ago to go travelling but when he returned from his adventures there was no call from John Evans to come back into the fold.

But impressive form for his club Boyle last season didn’t go unnoticed and the management team of Fergal O’Donnell and Kevin McStay were soon in touch.

By then Purcell had gone into the pub and bookmakers business in Carrick-on-Shannon but he had no hesitation in making the commitment.

“There was excitement, there was a good buzz when Kevin and Fergal were instated. I worked with Fergal before, I played for him and you just know what Fergal is going to bring and what Kevin and Liam (McHale) had done with St Brigid’s, you knew it was going to be something exciting and you wanted to be a part of it.”

The away wins against Kerry and Donegal have given real momentum to their season and on Sunday, Roscommon will be favourites to defeat a Mayo side which has dominated Connacht for the past five years.

Purcell said they were not drawing motivation from the fact that they have a chance of toppling their neighbours at the weekend.

He explained: “All the players want is to play in Division One next year. It wouldn’t be a motivation factor what people on the outside think of us but on the inside there’s motivation that we want to stay up. Everyone’s enjoying it. I can see from our football that lads are enjoying it.”

Purcell is thrilled to be back in Hyde Park for Sunday’s showdown — their first game at county headquarters in this campaign.

“Yeah, delighted to be back in the Hyde now. You’d be hoping to get a few games in there. It’s good to be back now. Roscommon people want to be in the Hyde playing matches so we’re all delighted to be there now.

“We’ll have a good crowd but the Roscommon support has been fantastic on the road so far this year,” he added.

Mayo, the county with the longest run in the top flight having been there since the league was restructured in 1998, are in danger of relegation but long-serving attacker Kevin McLoughlin said they are not panicking.

“Training is going well and we are enjoying what we are doing. I think we are on the incline at this stage.

“From the outside it may not look like that but we feel it is. We’ve had some good performances in patches along the way.

“Our last game with Kerry, we had a very strong first half. But, we didn’t follow up with a good second half. We know the performances are in us. It’s just to make sure it happens over a full game.”

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