There are no half measures for Roscommon this summer: Gay Sheerin says his side are setting their sights on a Connacht title.
The Rossies open their campaign against London at Ruislip tomorrow (3pm) as they look to build on their Division 2 success last month.
They last won the Connacht title five years ago when they beat Sligo 0-14 to 0-13 in the decider – if they win tomorrow they will face the same opposiiton at Markievicz Park in the semi-final.
And the Roscommon selector Sheerin is determined that his side will come out on top, despite thinking that — behind Ulster — Connacht is the second most difficult province to win only this year.
“If you go back over the qualifiers and the best games maybe last year were Galway and Mayo and even ourselves to a certain extent,” Sheerin said.
“For us every game is away from home this year. It gives us an added incentive to maybe focus an awful lot more on each game and not be looking too far down the road.
“We have our eyes on the Connacht title there is no doubt about it and we are not going to water it down. But the way it is, it is going to be one game at a time.”
Roscommon and London last met in the Connacht championship in 2010 — the visitors were comprehensive victors in Ruislip that day on a 0-14 to 0-6 scoreline.
There has been much change in Roscommon since then, Kerryman John Evans has taken the reins.
Meanwhile at underage level they have shown promise with the minors capturing the 2011 and 2012 Connacht titles and the U21s reaching the All-Ireland final in 2012 and 2014.
The U21s also claimed three of the last four provincial crowns and expectation around the county has noticeably swelled.
Add to that the performance of the senior side in Division 2 of the Allianz League where they beat Down, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath before defeating Down again, 1-17 to 0-15 in the final.
That backed up last year’s promotion from Division 3 and Sheerin says his side have learned from their experience in the 2014 championship. Mayo knocked them out of Connacht at the semi-final stage before Armagh dumped them out of the qualifiers.
“We learned a lesson last year against Armagh and we learned a lesson against Mayo last year — things that will help us as the championship goes on.
“It is very competitive, we come out of London and we have to go down to Markievicz,” he said.
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