Corofin return for part two of London adventure

Corofin boss Kevin O’Brien is philosophical about facing a second trip to London in the All-Ireland Club senior football championship.

Corofin return for part two of London adventure

Last month’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Fulham Irish was called off hours before throw-in due to a snow-covered pitch which means the sides meet again tomorrow (McGovern Park, Ruislip, 1pm) with the winners securing a last-four date with Moorefield next month.

O’Brien reasoned: “We are looking at the re-fixture in a positive way. When the first game was cancelled we had a very productive management meeting over there and we looked at coming up with a programme for players.

"We focused on gym work for strength and conditioning and keeping the lads ticking over. We only had two collective sessions over the Christmas period (on Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day) and we tried to make them as much fun as possible.

“Lads went to the gym in pairs and groups and did their own work, and that can be a good thing too, as they get a chance to do some stuff in smaller groups which can be more relaxing.

"The reality is that we won’t know for sure whether the game being cancelled will be a negative or positive until we see how Sunday goes.”

O’ Brien - a selector with Stephen Rochford when the club won the All-Ireland three years ago - considers every game a potential banana skin at this stage of the campaign.

“Travelling to London for a championship game is different and you have to make sure that everyone, including the management keep their focus. We played Tír Chonaill Gaels there in 2014 and it was a tight affair.

"It was a real dogfight to get home with a win, so we will be giving Greg McCartan’s team the respect they deserve.”

Neither O’ Brien or his selectors deal with the logistics or financing of the trips with chairman Michael Ryder overseeing such tasks.

“Being chairman takes a bit of time to be sure, and these past few weeks have been very busy. We are lucky in Corofin that we have a really good committee and guys like John Raftery and Jimmy McHugh are super men to get work done.

“These trips are really expensive though, with over 35-40 people in the travelling party. The first trip before Christmas cost over €21,000. Croke Park paid €14,000, towards that cost, and we paid the rest.

“However, we are hopeful that they will be able to help us out a bit more for the second trip as it is too much money for any club to have to come up with. There is a meeting next week and we are hoping that they will be able to support us with an extra contribution or pay for the second trip entirely.”

Fulham Irish (London) v Corofin (Galway)

Tomorrow: McGovern Park, Ruislip, 1pm

Referee: N. Mooney, Cavan

Bet: Fulham Irish 9/1, Corofin 1/20, Draw 16/1

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